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Reference Resources

Dictionaries, encyclopedia, handbooks, and more!

What are reference books; why use them?

Reference resources include, but are not limited to, publications such as: dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, biographies, directories, and atlases. They are 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.