Reference resources are a great place to begin your research. They can help you define terms as well as find overviews of topics and theories and identify keywords or alternate terms for database searching.
There are many different types of reference sources, which include dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauri, bibliographies, handbooks, style manuals to name a few. The following list of titles is not an exhaustive but featured list of resources to consult.
Encyclopedia of New Media: an Essential Reference to Communication and Technology
REF QA76.575 .E5368 2003 (Stauffer Library)
Oxford Bibliographies provides peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on film history, television studies, media studies, critical theory, visual arts, cultural studies, digital culture, game studies, popular culture and the study of the moving image.
Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable. For example there are guides on Cinema and Media Studies and Communication and essays on Cinema and the Visual Arts, Visual Communication and Indigenous Media.