Reference books should only be used for an overview, and not as one of your major sources. Because reference book articles are short, you are not going to find the level of detail required to write a successful paper.
Circulating books offers more specific information on one major subject with lots of details in its further subdivision. You may also find lots of supporting materials via facts, personal experience or survey as well as possible some statistics. It takes you to a deeper level of research.
Reference books are located in the Garver Room (silent study room).
Circulating books are located in the stacks.
You may start from here,
汉语世界 The World of Chinese (No. 12, 2008 to date in print on shelf)
It is a great source for modern Chinese culture and language with featured articles on each issue. It also covers topics like business, economy, and people's daily life on food, entertainment and love etc. You are going to love it! For the current issues, please visit the Freeman Room.
Or, simply visit its online site: The World of Chinese.
Q. Dear librarian,
After I searched the NOBLE Catalog, I found one of the items I like to read having a call number like this: C951 M12YI. what does it mean and where I can find it?
A. This prefix means this item is in Chinese language. You can find it in the regular stacks for all books in the range of 951. Ms. Pei
Q. I need info on 成吉思汗, but I couldn't find info about him. Can you help me?
A. You can find lots info about 成吉思汗 from both printed and e-resources at OWHL. You may want to be sure there are different ways of spelling his name, e.g. Chiggis Khan or Genghis Khan.
Q. Ch'ing Dynasty or Qing Dynasty?
A. Qing Dynasty is a better term. However, you may try both when doing the keyword search. Plus, you should try one of the following suggested terms.
For example, you might want to read this ficiton: Empress Orchid by Anchee Min.
Q. Does Chinse "Boxer Uprising" and Chinese "Boxer Rebellion" mean the same thing?
A. Yes. You may even use the database Facts On Files: American History Online to find info on this event. Further more, you may get some international perspectives on the Boxer Rebellion.