The kind of tools described on this page will give you a solid foundation (vs. a "house built on sand") upon which to build your paper or project. Encyclopedias, whether an e-reference or print, will give you a good overview of the turf. These tools cover a subject broadly, break it into segments (helping you narrow down your topic), and usually provide a list of good books and/or articles that will take you further into your topic.
And better search terms!
This is an updated, online version of McCabe's A Critical Guide to Catholic Reference Books (1989), including both classic and newer titles. Titles are linked to their WorldCat records, often providing local holdings information. Links to available electronic versions are being added. Melody McMahon and members of the Roman Catholic denominational group in ATLA created this ongoing project.
Note: Your fellow students will be focusing in the same subject area as you are, though perhaps on different related topics. Be aware of the need to share our print resources.
Please remember these simple guidelines:
Thanks for keeping the Library alive!
The following will help you begin your research -- and perhaps find a good topic! Subject dictionaries give you thorough definitions and explanations of terms. Subject encyclopedias help you see a topic broadly, and also help you narrow down your topic; most offer definitions and suggested readings, which will help you start your information-gathering. See box below for electronic reference texts. NOTE: These are only examples.
These sample titles are among the scores of Reference books and sets available electronically on campus, or off-campus using your MyLMU login and password. For additional titles of both print and electronic reference titles (with links), see the compilation databases like Credo Reference, Oxford Reference Online, and the Gale Virtual Reference Library, as well as other works listed on our e-Reference Source page.
Abbey of San Pietro, Modena