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Spanish 105-6: Decolonization and Contemporary Latin American Theory

Prof. Diego Arispe-Bazan

Latin American Studies Librarian

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Michelle Guittar
Main Library
Northwestern University
1970 Campus Dr
Evanston, IL 60208

Why Start with Reference Entries?

Subject encyclopedias provide overviews of broad topics, identifying subtopics, key concepts, methods used, important people, organizations, and events, and often providing citations to key works for pursuing in-depth knowledge on the topic.

By filling in your background knowledge about your broad topic of interest, encyclopedias help you narrow your focus.  Your goal when reviewing encyclopedia entries is to narrow your focus with the broad topic so that you can state a concise research question to guide your continuing search for and selection of research materials. 

Find Reference Entries

Start with NUSearch. Put in your keywords to do a search. For example, I searched for:

  Any Field Contains words decoloni* OR coloni*
AND Any Field Contains phrase "latin america"

"Latin America" tells the catalog to search just for the phrase, "Latin America" rather than the individual words, and "decoloni* OR coloni*" prompts the catalog to search for anything that mentions the following:


You can limit the kinds of items the catalog returns to specific formats, for example, articles, books, or, what can be especially helpful, is to "Show More" and select Reference Entries. See the sidebar on why I recommend you look for Reference Entries!

Reference Sources on Decolonization and Contemporary Latin American Theory