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American Studies

A general guide to doing research in American Studies

Find background information in encyclopedias and dictionaries

Consider using encyclopedias and other reference sources when you begin researching a topic. Some encyclopedias will provide more in-depth information than others, but any general encyclopedia is a good source to consult for background information of your chosen subject area. Most encyclopedias provide the following:

  • Main concepts, including names, dates, places
  • Keywords and subject terms related to topic
  • Lists of related articles or additional resources


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