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Introduction to Speech Research Guide

A guide to resources useful for finding information for the informative and persuasive speeches

Reference books, such as encyclopedia and subject reference works, contain key facts and authoritative information about any topic you may have selected. 

Print Reference Materials

Reference books are a great place to begin any assignment.

Encyclopedias provide basic information on nearly every subject known to man. The articles in encyclopedias provide a good background or overview on a topic written in a language understandable to individuals who are not experts in a field. Some encyclopedia articles are signed by the expert who wrote the article who is frequently well-known in the field and may have written other books or articles. Frequently, longer articles also provide a bibliography listing the resources the expert used to write the article. These bibliographies are useful for finding additional key resources on the topic.

Subject Reference Works provide more detailed information on specific subjects. The articles in subject reference works are sometimes more detailed than those in general encyclopedias. The authors use more language that is unique to the field and may assume the reader has some general knowledge of the field.

The most common types of subject reference works are dictionaries and encyclopedias. Frequently the articles in dictionaries are brief while encyclopedia articles are longer and more likely to include a substantial bibliography.

In the Jessie C. Eury Library, reference books have a call number that begins with R and are located on the first floor.

Sage Knowledge

The Jessie C. Eury Library provides access to over 80 full-text reference books through Sage Knowledge.  These books may be browsed or searched commpletely online.  When accessing these items off-campus, you will be prompted to log-in using your Lincoln Christian username and password.