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Authoritative Reference Sources vs Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a great resource for getting general info about something, but because anyone can contribute or change its content it is considered unreliable. College faculty typically do not consider Wikipedia a credible information source.
Instead, use the library's print or electronic encyclopedias, dictionaries, or other reference books to backup the basic information of your research paper. These resources have gone through an editorial process to check for accuracy. To the right and below are some resources that may be of use.
Encyclopedias and More
Oxford Reference Online
200+ well-known and trusted dictionaries and reference books combined into a single cross-searchable web database.
The electronic version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. An excellent starting point for almost any topic of research, the Britannica offers both concise descriptions, and longer, more comprehensive articles on a wide variety of topics.
Oxford English Dictionary
The online version of the classic dictionary. An unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cook books.
Below are key reference books that provide a general overview
of a topic or help identify synonyms, related terms, or basic data. These sources often include
references and lists of further readings.
Encyclopedia of Gender in Media
Call Number: HAT Reference P96.S5 E53 2012
Publication Date: 2012
Pages 419-421, Viral Advertising and Marketing
Encyclopedia of Rhetoric
Call Number: HAT Reference PN172 .E52 2001
Publication Date: 2001
Pages, 575-583, Persuasion
Humanities and Fine Arts Librarian
Subjects: Art & Art History
, Cinema Studies
, Latin American Studies
Hours during the Academic Year
Mon-Thur 9 a.m. -- 9 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. -- 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. -- 9 p.m.
Mon-Thur 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m.
6 p.m. -- 9 p.m.
Friday 1 p.m. -- 4 p.m
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
Note: The library is closed to the general public and open to students, faculty, and staff with current Willamette ID.
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What Librarians Can Do for You
You can set up an individual research consultation with a subject librarian for research help. Here are a few other things that we can do for you:
- Show you the best places to begin your research.
- Locate the information you need within our library or elsewhere.
- Help you cite information correctly (e.g. APA style).
- Judge the quality & reliability of information.
- Teach you how to use information ethically (e.g. avoiding plagiarism).
- Determine whether something is peer-reviewed.