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ENG 1061/1070 English Composition/Effective Speaking: Reference sources

Getting started with background research for composition and speech topics.

Info on careers

Key resources about occupations:


Occupational Outlook Handbook

(print version in the library at
REF 331.702 Oc1)

From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

"The profiles featured cover hundreds of occupations and describe What They Do, Work Environment, How to Become One, Pay, and more. Each profile also includes BLS employment projections for the 2010–20 decade."


Detailed descriptions of occupations, from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, informed by surveys of workers

Other resources

Reference sources

More on reference sources

Using reference books

Look for your topic in the list of entries or table of contents (only in some encyclopedias), or in the index of a relevant specialized encyclopedia. If the subject matter of the entire encyclopedia is of interest, read the introduction.

Finding reference material in OneSearch

After you search, or before you search in an Advanced Search, check the Reference Only box, like this

Quick search

Search ebook reference sources in Castleton's Credo Reference collection

Direct links to full-text entries from over 900 published reference books

In Opposing Viewpoints, Science from Gale, and Health and Wellness, see the Reference box among your search results.

In ScienceDirect, in an Advanced Search, you can limit a search to Encyclopedias or Book chapters, like this:


Statistics for the U.S. and states, counties and more

Grammar help

Dewey numbers

You can browse in the library's reference section or the stacks.  If you know the call number for an area you are interested in, you can go directly there and browse. 


  • Photography:  770
  • Sports:  796
  • Music:  780

Here's more on the Dewey Decimal System, including 100's and 1000's breakdowns

Here's a more basic chart of the Dewey Decimal System by 10's, in PDF (below)