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Start with overviews
The best way to start a research project is by reading overviews of your topic. An overview is a text that summarizes the basic facts about your topic.
Examples of overviews:
- Encyclopedia articles
- Study guides
An overview is just a starting point. Don't cite overviews. The reason why we don't cite overviews is that they don't provide any original information -- they only give you a condensed summary of what other people have said about the topic. Instead of citing an overview, read the overview and write down clues that you could search for in Quest or the library databases, to find sources that you can cite.
Clues you might find in overviews:
- The names of important people, places, and things.
- Other sources that you could cite (listed as citations).
What about Wikipedia?
Is it okay to use Wikipedia for a college research project?
Yes, but only as a starting point.
Wikipedia is an excellent starting point. You should use Wikipedia! Read Wikipedia articles, and write down clues that you find. Follow the citations at the bottom of Wikipedia articles. Use these clues to find sources you can cite.
Don't cite Wikipedia.
Don't assume that everything you read in Wikipedia is true. Treat Wikipedia as a collection of valuable rumors. Follow up on each rumor, using trustworthy sources, to see whether the rumor is true.
A reference book is a book that contains short overviews or summaries of many topics. Encyclopedias are the most common type of reference book. You can find reference books in the Reference section, which is on the first floor of Simpson Library.
For topics in linguistics, I recommend these reference books:
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences by Have you lost track of developments in generative linguistics, finding yourself unsure about the distinctive features of minimalism? Would you like to know more about recent advances in the genetics of language, or about right hemisphere linguistic operation? The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences addresses these issues, along with hundreds of others. It includes basic entries for those unfamiliar with a given topic and more specific entries for those seeking more specialized knowledge. It incorporates both well-established findings and cutting-edge research and classical approaches and new theoretical innovations. The volume is aimed at readers who have an interest in some aspect of language science but wish to learn more about the broad range of ideas, findings, practices, and prospects that constitute this rapidly expanding field, a field arguably at the center of current research on the human mind and human society.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 29 .C28 2011
Publication Date: 2010-11-15
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages by The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages is the first comprehensive reference work treating all of the languages of antiquity. Clear and systematic in its approach, the Encyclopedia combines full linguistic coverage of all the well documented ancient languages, representing numerous language families from around the globe. Each chapter of the work focuses on an individual language or, in some instances, a set of closely related varieties of a language. Providing a full descriptive presentation, each of these chapters examines the writing system(s), phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon of that language, and places the language within its proper linguistic and historical context. The Encyclopedia brings together an international array of scholars, each a leading specialist in ancient language study. While designed primarily for linguistic professionals and students, this work will prove invaluable to all whose studies take them into the realm of ancient language.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 140 .C36 2004
Publication Date: 2004-04-29
Compendium of the World's Languages by This second edition of George Campbell's astounding survey of world languages has been thoroughly updated, revised, and expanded. It presents a comprehensive cross-section of languages, ranging from the familiar and well-documented to the relatively obscure. Fifteen completely new entries on exotic languages such as Comanche, Shona, and Wotapuri have been added to the more than 300 descriptions of the many forms taken by human speech worldwide. Also included are numerous articles on non-Roman scripts, not featured in the first edition. Dead languages associated with the great cultures of the past--Classical Chinese, Sanskrit, Classical Greek, and Latin--are featured, as well as intriguing isolates like Etruscan and Tangut.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 371 .C36 2000
Publication Date: 2004-11-11
Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics by This is the ninth in the acclaimed series of spinoff volumes based on the outstanding Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. It comprises 285 articles of which 80 are short biographical entries. 50 of the biographies and 42 other articles are entirely new, while the remaining entries are suitably revised and updated from ELL. This work provides uniquely comprehensive and authoritative information on all aspects of sociolinguistics.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 40 .C564 2001
Publication Date: 2001-12-20
Dictionary of American Regional English: Volume I: A-C by How do Americans really talk?what are their hometown, everyday expressions in the many regions and sections of this huge country? The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), twenty years in preparation, answers these questions. It gives visible proof of the diversity?and the vitality?of American folk language, past and present. DARE includes thousands of words and phrases not found in conventional dictionaries, and out-of-the-way meanings for common terms. Here are local names for familiar objects, from old cars to frying pans to dust-balls under the bed (176 names for these); for plants, animals, and critters real and imaginary; for rainstorms and heat waves; for foods, clothing, children's games and adults' pastimes; for illnesses and traditional remedies. Here are terms?salty, sarcastic, humorous?by which people describe each other, their physical appearance, characters, emotions, states of mind. Here are metaphors and similes galore. In Wisconsin a man whose motives are suspect ?has beans up his nose.? In Georgia a conceited person is ?biggity?; someone important or self-important in the Northwest is ?bull of the woods.? A close friend may be ?bobbasheely? (Mississippi) or an ?ace boon coon? (New York City). West of the Appalachians the old saw ?I wouldn't know him from Adam? becomes ?I wouldn't know him from Adam's off-ox? (or, in the South, ?from Adam's housecat?). These and some twelve thousand other expressions are identified and explained in the first volume of DARE. While DARE is the work of many dedicated people, it owes its existence to Frederic G. Cassidy, who in 1963 agreed to organize the project, raise funds for it, and serve as Editor-in-Chief. Cassidy trained teams of fieldworkers and equipped them with a carefully worded questionnaire: 1,847 questions grouped in 41 broad categories ranging over most aspects of everyday life and common human experience. From 1965 to 1970 the fieldworkers conducted week-long interviews with natives of 1,002 representative communities in all fifty states. The two and a half million items gleaned from the fieldwork, coded and computer-processed, are DARE's primary data base, a rich harvest of regional Americanisms current in the seventh decade of this century. Earlier collections have been drawn upon as well, notably the 40,000 expressions recorded by the American Dialect Society since 1889; and some 5,000 publications, including regional novels and diaries and small-town newspapers, have been combed for local idioms. A unique feature of the dictionary is the computer-generated maps that accompany many of the entries to show the geographical distribution of the term. The base map is schematic, distorting the areas of the states to reflect their population density. Volume I includes extensive introductory material on DARE itself and on American folk speech. Its entries, from Aaron's rod to czarnina, cover nearly a quarter of the total DARE corpus.
Call Number: Reference PE 2843 .D52 1985
Publication Date: 1985-01-01
Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics by The Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics is a unique reference work for students and teachers of linguistics. The highly-regarded second edition of the Lexikon der Sprachwissenschaft by Hadumod Bussmann has been specifically adapted by a team of over thirty specialist linguists to form the most comprehensive and up-to-date work of its kind in the English language. In over 2,500 entries, the Dictionary provides an exhaustive survey of the key terminology and languages of more than 30 subdisciplines of linguistics. With its term-based approach and emphasis on clear analysis, it complements perfectly Routledge's established range of reference material in the field of linguistics.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 143 .T727 2000
Publication Date: 1999-01-07
A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics by David Crystal's A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics has long been the standard single-volume reference for its field. Now available in its sixth edition, it has been revised and updated to reflect the latest terms in the field. Includes in excess of 5,100 terms, grouped into over 3,000 entries Coverage reflects recommendations by a team of experts in phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics, making it exceptionally comprehensive Incorporates new ideas stemming from the minimalist program Contains a separate table of abbreviations and table of symbols, along with an updated International Phonetic Alphabet Updates entries to reflect the way established terms are now perceived in light of changes in the field, providing a unique insight into the historical development of linguistics Remains the standard single-volume reference for the field of linguistics and phonetics.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 29 .C65 2008
Publication Date: 2008-06-23
Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics by The first edition of ELL (1993, Ron Asher, Editor) was hailed as "the field's standard reference work for a generation". Now the all-new second edition matches ELL's comprehensiveness and high quality, expanded for a new generation, while being the first encyclopedia to really exploit the multimedia potential of linguistics. * The most authoritative, up-to-date, comprehensive, and international reference source in its field * An entirely new work, with new editors, new authors, new topics and newly commissioned articles with a handful of classic articles * The first Encyclopedia to exploit the multimedia potential of linguistics through the online edition * Ground-breaking and International in scope and approach * Alphabetically arranged with extensive cross-referencing * Available in print and online, priced separately. The online version will include updates as subjects develop ELL2 includes: * c. 7,500,000 words * c. 11,000 pages * c. 3,000 articles * c. 1,500 figures: 130 halftones and 150 colour * Supplementary audio, video and text files online * c. 3,500 glossary definitions * c. 39,000 references * Extensive list of commonly used abbreviations * List of languages of the world (including information on no. of speakers, language family, etc.) * Approximately 700 biographical entries (now includes contemporary linguists) * 200 language maps in print and online Also available online via ScienceDirect - featuring extensive browsing, searching, and internal cross-referencing between articles in the work, plus dynamic linking to journal articles and abstract databases, making navigation flexible and easy. For more information, pricing options and availability visit www.info.sciencedirect.com.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 29 .E48 2006
Publication Date: 2005-11-24
Encyclopedia of Linguistics by Utilizing a historical and international approach, this valuable two-volume resource makes even the more complex linguistic issues understandable for the non-specialized reader. Containing over 500 alphabetically arranged entries and an expansive glossary by a team of international scholars, the Encyclopedia of Linguistics explores the varied perspectives, figures, and methodologies that make up the field.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 29 .E483 2005
Publication Date: 2004-12-27
Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages by The concern for the fast-disappearing language stocks of the world has arisen particularly in the past decade, as a result of the impact of globalization. This book appears as an answer to a felt need: to catalogue and describe those languages, making up the vast majority of the world's six thousand or more distinct tongues, which are in danger of disappearing within the next few decades. Endangerment is a complex issue, and the reasons why so many of the world's smaller, less empowered languages are not being passed on to future generations today are discussed in the book's introduction. The introduction is followed by regional sections, each authored by a notable specialist, combining to provide a comprehensive listing of every language which, by the criteria of endangerment set out in the introduction, is likely to disappear within the next few decades. These languages make up ninety per cent of the world's remaining language stocks. Each regional section comprises an introduction that deals with problems of language preservation peculiar to the area, surveys of known extinct languages, and problems of classification. The introduction is followed by a list of all known languages within the region, endangered or not, arranged by genetic affiliation, with endangered and extinct languages marked. This listing is followed by entries in alphabetical order covering each language listed as endangered. Useful maps are provided to pinpoint the more complex clusters of smaller languages in every region of the world. The Encyclopedia therefore provides in a single resource: expert analysis of the current language policy situation in every multilingual country and on every continent, detailed descriptions of little-known languages from all over the world, and clear alphabetical entries, region by region, of all the world's languages currently thought to be in danger of extinction. The Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages will be a necessary addition to all academic linguistics collections and will be a useful resource for a range of readers with an interest in development studies, cultural heritage and international affairs.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 40.5.L332 E45 2007
Publication Date: 2008-03-10
Ethnologue by Ethnologue remains one of the most useful scholarly reference sources on languages of the world. The Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 16th Edition is the comprehensive reference volume that catalogs all the known living languages in the world today. The Ethnologue has been an active research project for more than fifty years. Thousands of linguists and other researchers all over the world rely on and have contributed to the Ethnologue. It is widely regarded to be the most comprehensive listing of information of its kind. A new edition is published approximately every four years.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 371 .E83 2009
Publication Date: 2009-01-01
The Handbook of Discourse Analysis by Also available as an ebook
The Handbook of Discourse Analysis makes significant contributions to current research and serves as a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the central issues in contemporary discourse analysis. Features comprehensive coverage of contemporary discourse analysis. Offers an overview of how different disciplines approach the analysis of discourse. Provides analysis of a wide range of data, including political speeches, everyday conversation, and literary texts. Includes a varied range of theoretical models, such as relevance theory and systemic-functional linguistics; and methodology, including interpretive, statistical, and formal methodsFeatures comprehensive coverage of contemporary discourse analysis.
Call Number: Simpson Stacks P 302 .H344 2001
Publication Date: 2008-04-15
The Handbook of Language and Gender by Also available as an ebook
The Handbook of Language and Gender is a collection of articles written by leading specialists in the field that examines the dynamic ways in which women and men develop and manage gendered identities through their talk. Provides a comprehensive, up-to-date, and stimulating picture of the field for students and researchers in a wide range of disciplines Features data and case studies from interactions in different social contexts and from a range of different communities
Call Number: Simpson Stacks P 120.S48 H36 2003
Publication Date: 2003-02-07
International Encyclopedia of Linguistics by Also available as an ebook
The International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, 2nd Edition encompasses the full range of the contemporary field of linguistics, including historical, comparative, formal, mathematical, functional, and philosophical linguistics with special attention given to interrelations within branches of linguistics and to relations of linguistics with other disciplines. Areas of intersection with the social and behavioral sciences--ethnolinguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and behavioral linguistics--receive major coverage, along with interdisciplinary work in language and literature, mathematical linguistics, computational linguistics, and applied linguistics. Longer entries in the International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, ranging up to four thousand words, survey the major fields of study--for example, anthropological linguistics, history of linguistics, semantics, and phonetics. Shorter entries treat specific topics within these fields, such as code switching, sound symbolism, and syntactic features. Other short entries define and discuss technical terms used within the various subfields or provide sketches of the careers of important scholars in the history of linguistics, such as Leonard Bloomfield, Roman Jakobson, and Edward Sapir. A major portion of the work is its extensive coverage of languages and language families. From those as familiar as English, Japanese, and the Romance languages to Hittite, Yoruba, and Nahuatl, all corners of the world receive treatment. Languages that are the subject of independent entries are analyzed in terms of their phonology, grammatical features, syntax, and writing systems. Lists attached to each article on a language group or family enumerate all languages, extinct or still spoken, within that group and provide detailed information on the number of known speakers, geographical range, and degree of intelligibility with other languages in the group. In this way, virtually every known language receives coverage. For ease of reference and to aid research, the articles are alphabetically arranged, each signed by the contributor, supported by up-to-date bibliographies, line drawings, maps, tables, and diagrams, and readily accessible via a system of cross-references and a detailed index and synoptic outline. Authoritative, comprehensive, and innovative, the 2nd edition of the International Encyclopedia of Linguistics will be an indispensable addition to personal, public, academic, and research libraries and will introduce a new generation of readers to the complexities and concerns of this field of study.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 29 .I58 2003
Publication Date: 2003-05-01
Language and Communication by People have been concerned with fundamental questions about language and communication for thousands of years. How did human language originate? Why are there so many different languages? Are features of language and communication arbitrary or do universal patterns prevail? By introducing readers to these kinds of questions, this alphabetically arranged volume presents a complete and detailed picture of how Western and non-Western traditions influence one another.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 29 .F47 1998
Publication Date: 1998-05-01
Linguistics: a Guide to the Reference Literature, 2nd Edition by Also available as an ebook
Thoroughly revised and updated with some 500 new entries-including the addition of pertinent Internet sites-this is the only bibliographic guide to information sources for linguistics. Coverage spans from 1957, the publication date of Chomsky's seminal work, to the present, with emphasis on English-language resources. DeMiller's detailed citations describe and evaluate each work, often offering comparisons to similar titles. Its broad coverage and in-depth reviews make this work essential to the research and study of general or theoretical linguistics. The book is also indispensable in the related areas of anthropological linguistics, applied linguistics, mathematical and computation linguistics, psycholinguistics, semiotics, and sociolinguistics, which are all treated in separate chapters, as well as the study of language and languages from a linguistic perspective. A must for any library supporting the study of linguistics or its related fields, this is a valuable reference and research tool. It i
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 121 .D45 2000
Publication Date: 2000-01-15
The Linguistics Encyclopedia by The Linguistics Encyclopediahas been thoroughly revised and updated and a substantial new introduction, which forms a concise history of the field, has been added. The volume offers comprehensive coverage of the major and subsidiary fields of linguistic study. Entries are alphabetically arranged and extensively cross-referenced, and include suggestions for further reading. New entries include: Applied Linguistics; Cognitive Linguistics; Contrastive Linguistics; Cross-Linguistic Study; Forensic Linguistics; Stratificational Linguistics. Recommissioned or substantially revised entries include: Bilingualism and Multilingualism; Discourse; Genre Analysis; Psycholinguistics; Language acquisition; Morphology; Articulatory Phonetics; Grammatical Models and Theories; Stylistics; Sociolinguistics; Critical Discourse Analysis. For anyone with an academic or professional interest in language, The Linguistics Encyclopediais an indispensable reference tool.
Call Number: Simpson Reference P 29 .L52 2002
Publication Date: 2001-12-29
The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) by A landmark, comprehensive reference work that represents the methodological and theoretical diversity of this changing field. This is a fully-searchable, complete text of The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) on a dual-platform CD-ROM. Since the 1970s the cognitive sciences have offered multidisciplinary ways of understanding the mind and cognition. The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) is a landmark, comprehensive reference work that represents the methodological and theoretical diversity of this changing field. At the core of the encyclopedia are 471 concise entries, from Acquisition and Adaptationism to Wundt and X-bar Theory. Each article, written by a leading researcher in the field, provides an accessible introduction to an important concept in the cognitive sciences, as well as references or further readings. Six extended essays, which collectively serve as a roadmap to the articles, provide overviews of each of six major areas of cognitive science: Philosophy; Psychology; Neurosciences; Computational Intelligence; Linguistics and Language; and Culture, Cognition, and Evolution. For both students and researchers, MITECS will be an indispensable guide to the current state of the cognitive sciences. System requirements: Compatible with Windows 95, Windows NT (16MB of RAM available to Acrobat Reader; 10MB hard-disk space); Windows 3.1 and 3.11 for Workgroups (12MB hard-disk space); Macintosh and Power Macintosh (8MB of RAM available to Acrobat Reader, Apple System Software version 7.1.2 or later, and 12.5MB hard-disk space).
Call Number: Simpson Reference BF 311 .M556 1999
Publication Date: 1999-08-02