Reference sources (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, manuals, etc.) provide specific facts, definitions, summaries and backgroundl information. They contain authoritative, well established information and are particularly useful when you are just starting your research. Look to them to:
When you start to plan research it is always a good idea to begin with reference sources. This will give you a broad overview of a topic and may help you to either narrow broad topics or broaden narrow topics.