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What is a background source?
Background sources are written for a general audience and are intended to give an overview of a topic, fill gaps in the reader’s knowledge, and provide context for deeper understanding. Examples include Wikipedia, introductory textbooks, and reference works such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks.
When working on a new research topic, it is often helpful to begin with these three questions,
· What research question you want to answer in this paper?
· How to narrow down to specific topic?
· What are the available USEFUL resources for your topic?
Beginning with reading a basic overview of the subject is often a good start.
Encyclopedias and dictionaries provide such overviews to help you familiarize with relevant vocabulary and to provide useful suggestions for further readings.
List of Books for Reference
Sources of Chinese Tradition by
Call Number: DS721.D37 1999
Publication Date: 1999-07-27
A collection of seminal primary readings on the social, intellectual, and religious traditions of China, Sources of Chinese Tradition, Volume 1 has been widely used and praised for almost forty years as an authoritative resource for scholars and students and as a thorough and engaging introduction for general readers.
Sources of East Asian Tradition by
Call Number: DS509.3.S677 2008
Publication Date: 2008-07-15
In Sources of East Asian Tradition, Wm. Theodore de Bary offers a selection of essential readings from his immensely popular anthologies Sources of Chinese Tradition, Sources of Korean Tradition, and Sources of Japanese Tradition so readers can experience a concise but no less comprehensive portrait of the social, intellectual, and religious traditions of East Asia. Volume 1 samples writings from the earliest times to 1600, illuminating life in early China and the first imperial age, as well as the profound impact of Daoism, Buddhism, the Confucian revival, and Neo-Confucianism; the origins of Korean culture and political structures, up through the Choson dynasty; and major developments in early and medieval Japan.
Historical overviews and contextual essays from leading scholars on topics across a broad range of time periods and geographies. Chapters can be downloaded as PDFs and are printable.
Chinese History and Culture by
Publication Date: 2016-09-20
Volume 1 of Chinese History and Culture explores how the Dao was reformulated, expanded, defended, and preserved by Chinese intellectuals up to the seventeenth century, guiding them through history's darkest turns. Essays incorporate the evolving conception of the soul and the afterlife in pre- and post-Buddhist China, the significance of eating practices and social etiquette, the move toward greater individualism, the rise of the Neo-Daoist movement, the spread of Confucian ethics, and the growth of merchant culture and capitalism. A true panorama of Chinese culture's continuities and transition, Y#65533; Ying-shih's two-volume Chinese History and Culture gives readers of all backgrounds a unique education in the meaning of Chinese civilization.
Resources for East Asian Language and Thought
by Charles Muller, Professor from University of Tokyo
It provides some valuable resources related to Muller's own research in Chinese thoughts, and translation of some East Asian religious texts.
How to find ebooks in the library?
In addition to the print books in the science library, there are thousands of e-books accessible through in OBIS. Just click on the ebooks tab to limit your search to books accessible online, in electronic or digital format.
You can search for all of our eBook content in Summon, or search specific the specific databases below.
E-books in East Asian Studies
Authoritative guide to reliable peer-reviewed resources and scholarship in African Studies, Buddhism, Chinese Studies, Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Military History, Music, and Political Science. Bibliographies are selectively curated and annotated by expert academics and offer high-level overviews that provide non-experts with a point of entry into unfamiliar areas of study.
Oxford Handbooks Online
NOTE: Oberlin has economics and politics content only. An Oxford Handbook advances an original conception of the field through a definitive collection of essays, each of which provides a survey of the current state of scholarly debate and an original argument about the future direction of research.