1. Introduction to Secondary Sources

2. Textbooks

3. Legal Encyclopedias

4. Government Documents

5. Legal Dictionaries

Secondary Sources – Choosing a Source: How to Locate Secondary Sources

You may choose to begin with any one of a number of secondary sources.

Legal dictionaries are an excellent place to start if your research instructions include legal jargon or legalese.

Alternatively, a textbook or legal encyclopedia is the most logical point of departure to help you if you are comfortable with the legal terms and issues at play.

Lastly, if the legal problem being researched is a relatively new or emerging issue, then it might be best to start by scouring a periodical index since journal articles are the most "up-to-date” source of legal commentary.

Image of a guy trying to choose between several paths ahead.

The following sections in this and the next module will look at the most common types of secondary sources.