As you do research, it's a great idea to keep track of what you did and where you found useful sources or information. There are lots of ways to do this! Our guide on Personal Content Management has information about some tools the Libraries recommends, but there are many others out there as well.
When you write your paper, you'll need citations for each of your sources. For more information on how to cite, when to cite, and what styles you can use, see our Citing Sources guide.
Searching within encyclopedias and other reference sources can help get background on a subject and narrow your topic.
Encyclopedia of American Urban History (Entries include Freeways and Expressways, Urban Ecology, and Women in Cities. Covers 1855-2005.)
Oxford Reference Online (Try the Encyclopedia of American Business, Labor, and Economic History, or the Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology!)
Gale Virtual Reference Library (Use to access works like Encyclopedia of American Immigration, Color behind Bars: Racism in the U.S. Prison System, and Revolts, Protests, Demonstrations, and Rebellions in American History.)
Credo Reference (Look under Social Sciences for summaries of current issues, browse under Technology & Engineering for transportation topics, or search for key terms like Zoning.)
Can't find anything for your topic? Check out our General Reference research guide for more places to try.
Books and reports can be great resources for research or to get an overview of a topic.
To find books and reports in the MIT Libraries use our library catalog Barton.
Hint: Start with a keyword search using words that describe your topic. Example: "las vegas" and history
To find books at other libraries use MIT's Worldcat. Then request the books through Borrow Direct, the BLC or Interlibrary Borrowing.
Hint: This is a great source for finding planning reports from other cities.
The MIT Libraries also give you access to databases and journals in all subject areas. To find journal databases in specific subject areas check our Research Guides. For this class try the Urban Studies & Planning, Transportation, and History guides. You can also use Barton Plus to search a topic in many of our databases and Barton simultaneously. This can be a good first step in starting your research, especially if you aren't sure what subject area to start in.
Already know the name of the journal or database you're looking for? You can look in Vera to see if we have access to these online. Once you get to Vera enter the title of the journal or database in the search box.