Tertiary sources are excellent starting points! They consist of information synthesized from primary and secondary sources. Examples include:
These resources give you succinct overviews of your topic, explain scholarly arguments, point out interesting questions, and refer you to especially key sources.
Building context (and recognizing when you need more context) is an important element in the research process. Tertiary sources, especially subject encyclopedias, are often the best place to start when you are trying to establish some basic scientific, historical, social, or cultural context.
Articles in subject encyclopedias are written by scholars who have deep specialization in the topic and the articles themselves go through a stringent editing process. These resources can help you with:
In Collins Library, the print reference collection is located on the main floor. Use Primo to identify subject encyclopedias in either online or print format; or ask a librarian for recommendations.