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Reference books like dictionaries and encyclopedias are great ways to get background information on your topic. Looking up your topic can get you biographical or historical information, general concepts, lists of works, and related terms depending on your topic.
The type of information you gather from reference sources is seldom the kind of critical analysis your professors are looking for in your papers. Use reference sources to become familiar with your topic so that you can search smarter when you look for books and articles. You should generally refrain from using them in your papers. Situations vary, so if you're unsure, check with your instructor.
This guide is designed to help you get started on your research in Philosophy. Use the tabs above to find reference works, articles, books, and librarian-approved websites. Feel free to contact me directly (see box to right) if you have any questions or want to set up an appointment to meet for more help.
The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy by Robert Audi (Editor)
Call Number: Ref. B41.C351999
Publication Date: 1999-09-28
Widely acclaimed as the most authoritative and accessible one-volume dictionary available in English this second edition offers an even richer, more comprehensive, and more up-to-date survey of ideas and thinkers written by an international team of 436 contributors.
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy by Ted Honderich (Editor)
Call Number: Ref. B51 .O94 1995
Publication Date: 1995-08-31
This is the most authoritative and engaging philosophical reference work in English. It gives clear and reliable guidance to all areas of philosophy and to the ideas of all notable philosophers from antiquity to the present day.