Using the encyclopedias and other reference books
Introduction - Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Atlases - LibGuides at Austin Community CollegeEncyclopedias and Other Reference Sources. Ask Now. Multi-Subject Encyclopedia Collections. A great place to begin your research, Gale eBooks offers thousands of authoritative articles published in academic encyclopedias, and written by subject experts. Gale eBooks provides information you can not only trust, but cite in a paper as well.
Reference Sources: Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Handbooks, and More!: Home
That Molloy College has over titles of online reference resources? General Encyclopedas. General encyclopedias provide information about nearly every topic. Using an encyclopedia is an effective way to quickly get a broad overview of a subject. Most encyclopedias provide the following:.
Skip to content. Skip to navigation. For research purposes, you may be looking for books that synthesize all the information on one topic to support a particular argument or thesis. Reference books or specialized encyclopedias cover virtually any topic, may be written by one expert or several, and their information is often presented in a straight scholarly manner. Specialized subject encyclopedias are collections of in-depth entries focused on one field of study. In contrast to most regular nonfiction books which are often read in their entirety, reference books and encyclopedias are designed for the user to read sections as needed.
Before you begin writing a paper it's helpful to have a good overview of your topic. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other reference material can help you. If a topic looks interesting, but you don't know enough about it, or you want a source of information other than your textbook, academic reference sources are what you need. You'll learn about the most important aspects of your topic, the important researchers, and many of these sources will list citations to key articles, books and book chapters. You can also ask a librarian about appropriate reference resources.
Types of reference sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, indexes, almanacs, handbooks, statistical directories, biographical handbooks, chronologies, and other related materials. Reference sources acquaint you with unfamiliar topics by giving you:. Reference resources like encyclopedias, timelines, etc.
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This page contains definitions of and examples of different types of reference sources including almanacs, atlases, bibliographies, biographies, chronologies, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, and indexes. Almanacs are not usually used for extensive research , but are good for looking up specific facts, statistics, tables and lists about people, places, events, countries, organizations, zip codes, and popular culture such as sports and entertainment. Generally, almanacs cover a broad period of time, while Yearbooks, which contain similar information, only cover a given year. Atlases may be organized around a specific subject, theme, or geographic area. Bibliographies compile comprehensive lists of resources that share one or more common attributes about a particular subject, person, geographical area, etc. Some bibliographies also briefly describe the resources that are listed.