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About Reference Sources
Reference sources are a great place to begin your research. They can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of your topic and contain useful facts and information to support your research. Reference sources include:
Encyclopedias: Provide comprehensive coverage of an entire area of knowledge. There are general encyclopedias and subject encyclopedias, and they differ as to the level of detail and complexity. Encyclopedias are good for fact-finding, getting general background information about a subject or starting a research project.
Dictionaries: Standard dictionaries give an alphabetical list of words and their definitions. Thesauri contain synonyms and antonyms. Dialect and slang dictionaries present words and definitions not necessarily found in standard dictionaries. There are also dictionaries of abbreviations and acronyms and dictionaries of quotations.
Biographies: Brief summaries of data about a person, detailed information about a person, or references (citations) to other short or full-length biographies written about the person.
Almanacs, Yearbooks, and Handbooks: Often single volumes which summarize large amounts of facts about things like people and organizations, current and historical events, countries, statistics, and popular culture items like sports and entertainment.