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Introduction to Library Research

Begin here to start your research papers

What is Reference?


Reference sources are books that provide summaries, definitions of terms, quick facts, data, and bibliographies. They are a perfect place to start when you need an overview of a topic or are required to cite a definition of a term. Many reference materials have moved from print format to digitized databases since the information in them can rapidly change.

Reference includes: Dictionaries, Thesauri, Atlases, Encyclopedias, Bibliographies, Yearbooks, Timelines, Quotations, Handbooks, and Manuals

In a nutshell, start with a reference source when you need a quick easy look-up of factual information.

--> A note on Wikipedia: While Wikipedia can be a fountain of excellent information, it remains an open-source encyclopedia that is not necessarily vetted for accuracy in every article. Use Wikipedia to get some good background information, collect terminology and important names, and seek out the works cited at the end of the entry. 


Dictionaries


In the databases:


Encyclopedias


In the databases:

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