Dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks provide definitions and review papers on subjects, personalities and theories and are often excellent starting points for research, essays and ideas. A list of reference databases follows with a selective list of individual encyclopedias at the bottom of this page.
Oxford Reference - A database of dictionaries and reference sources, usually a first start!
Gale Virtual Reference Library - A database of many encyclopedias including review essays.
Oxford Handbooks Online - A database of extended political and social science books, chapters and essays.
Sage Knowledge - A database of dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks searchable by subject or keyword.
The Library's SuperSearch database includes over 70,000 short, citable and authoritative review essays on the most popular subjects. Search by keyword with research starters being the first item listed in search results.
Brock Library E-Reference Guide - a list of digital reference tools for all subjects