Dictionaries and encyclopedias like the ones listed on this page are a good place to begin your research. They can provide background or general information on a topic, help to narrow a broad topic to a manageable one for your paper, and suggest other sources you might consult for further information.
Starting points for historical research (print)
Post Learning Commons and Drexel Library
Fine and Performing Arts, History, International Relations, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Administration, and Theology
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