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CRIJ 1307: Crime in America

Research for the class serial killer assignment, and APA overview

Search Discover Databases,Books, or Reserves

Reference Sources - What are they?

Reference sources:

  • are an excellent place to start research
  • provide background information
  • include basic information sources like dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, chronologies, and research guides.

Some of the most common types of reference sources are:

Provide list of sources (books, articles, etc.) for specific subjects. May include annotations.
Guides to Research
Provide list of sources (books, articles, etc.) for specific subjects. May include annotations
Subject Encyclopedias
Provide in-depth, scholarly articles, focused on a specific subject or discipline. Often include bibliographies.

Finding Reference Sources Online

The library has many reference sources, both online and in print. Search the library catalog (advanced search) to find print sources, limiting to the Reference Shelves. Databases you may use include:

ebook Academic Collection - full-text, recent books online, mostly scholarly.

Gale Virtual Reference Library - reference books on a wide variety of topics.

Several other databases have reference sources on specific topics. You may see them in other searches that you do.

Possible Reference Sources for Assignment

We have a number of encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference sources that can be used for this assignment. Here are a few suggestions.

Citing Reference Sources

APA requires citing reference sources. Individual articles in subject sources are cited. It is also possible to cite an entire reference work.

The general pattern is:

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Location: Publisher.

For a chapter, the pattern is:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (2005). Title of chapter. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (Vol. xx, pp. xxx-xxx). Location: Publisher.

As an example:

Goode, E. (2002). Drug legalization. In D. Levinson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of crime and punishment (Vol. 2, pp. 559-65). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

NOTE: in a document, references are double-spaced, with a hanging indent.