Skip to Main Content
Research Guides

WRIT 127: Writing for Change (Art Research): Context & Overviews

Why Use Reference Materials (encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, etc.)?

for a quick overview of a topic

to develop vocabulary or keywords for searching

for suggestions for further sources

Context is Key

Try using a specialized reference work to get started with your research. You can browse these to spark a paper topic or look up information about a term or technology cited elsewhere. 

Scholarly encyclopedias are great, authoritative ways to understand more about a topic (and always better than Wikipedia, which is not an appropriate source for academic research), and they can give you information about where to look next. But remember that these are reference tools, and as such they are usually not appropriate sources for a scholarly paper on their own.

Search Oxford Art Online

The most authoritative and extensive encyclopedia for Art is Grove Art Online (available through Oxford Art Online) .

Image result for Oxford Art Online



Oxford Bibliographies

Selected Art Reference Materials