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SPK 208/230 Library resources and strategies: Home


This research guide explores various library resources to help you successfully complete your assignment. The tabs along the top of this page will lead you to tools which are key to you understanding of library research. If you have any questions, please contact the Research Help Desk (610-436-2453) or email us at If you want to contact me directly use the "send email" link on the right side of this screen.


Type in your keyword (subject)

Begin with reference resources

Encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries and other reference sources are great for getting background information about your topic. They can provide the basic information you need to start your research, and often, a list of suggested readings. They provide the well-known facts about a topic: definitions, major dates, statistics, and key contributions. They are trustworthy and reliable, giving you  correct information you need for presentations and research reports. If you don't know very much about your topic, or you're just starting your research, begin with reference books and they will help you narrow your research topic, identify keywords and main ideas to search in databases/indexes. When doing research, it is very important to use authoritative sources to support your topic.

Easy approaches to get started on almost any topic are using Credo (below left) and Reference Universe (below)

In addition to reference books journal articles make excellent resources because they are generally evidence-based and written by experts in the field. Click on the "Articles" tab (above)  to begin your search for articles  through databases (indexes) which are appropriate for your topic.

Reference Universe

Enter your search terms:
RU indexes many of our print and e-book references. A search produces relevant resources and locates pages for you to look at. The articles in most e-books can be viewed online. For print books, note the article title and page number; then follow the book title link to discover the library location (call number) in Library catalog (PILOT).

Subject Guide

Sam Bardarik's picture
Sam Bardarik
206 FHG Library
West Chester University   ---    WCU Libraries  25 West Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, PA 19383  610-430-4400