Books are excellent resources, especially in the humanities! They provide overviews on emerging issues and discourse. Academic books are usually published as a scholarly monograph (1 author/scholar writing on a singular topic) or as anthologies and edited volumes(2+ authors/scholars contribute to the same broad topic from a variety of perspectives, sharing a multitude of in-depth knowledge). Most academic books are published by large university publishers, or by independent and critical presses with the same peer review process. If you are working on a research paper at the undergraduate level, you don't have to read the whole book to use it in your bibliography! You can consult the Table of Contents to see if there is a useful chapter or two and focus on those chapters to deepen your knowledge. Another great tip is to always browse the bibliographies of books and book chapters as a way to trace the discourse and find additional, relevant resources and writers on that same topic. This tab includes sub-pages on finding and using books and covers various kinds of art books as well, such as exhibition catalogs and catalogues raisonnes.
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