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Reference Resources

Dictionaries, encyclopedia, handbooks, and other useful sources

What are reference books; why use them?

Reference resources include: dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, biographies, directories, and atlases. They can be published in print or electronically and are often discipline-specific.

Reference resources are especially useful to:

  1. learn about a subject that is new to you
  2. confirm a fact
  3. learn definitions
  4. identify or focus a topic for an essay or assignment
  5. compile search terms and key names for use when searching databases 
     
We recommend reference resources as the first place to look
when learning about or researching a new topic.