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IWU OCLS Tutorials: MPA Public Policy Guide - Reference


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Why Reference Materials?

You may ask, "Why would I use an encyclopedia, dictionary, or other reference materials for my research?".

  • Reference materials can provide background information. 
  • They can also be a good place to start when you are beginning research in an area you are unfamiliar with. 
  • Start your research by scanning a reference book to generate ideas about how to narrow or search for your topic.
  • You'll find keywords and related topics for your search strategy. You might even create an initial outline.
  • Reference articles usually offer additional resources in a bibliography you can use to track down more information!



Available Books and Reference Books 


Handbooks, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Guides



Additional Materials



Reference Databases


eBook Databases


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  • Librarians may not be available all open hours, but will answer ASAP.