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Reference Books Objective: Students will understand that reference books are found in the reference area of the library and online and are used to find.

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Presentation on theme: "Reference Books Objective: Students will understand that reference books are found in the reference area of the library and online and are used to find."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reference Books Objective: Students will understand that reference books are found in the reference area of the library and online and are used to find background information or quick facts.

2 Why Use Reference Books Reference books are great places to look for background information on your question. An encyclopedia article usually provides a good summary of your topic. Reference book articles also cite other relevant sources of information which may or may not be available in your library.

3 Types of Reference Books On the left-hand side is a list of sources called reference books. These types of books are generally found in the reference area of the library, but they may also be found online. Print versions are available for patrons to use in the library and are not available to check out. Electronic versions can be accessed outside the library. Atlas Biographical Encyclopedia Dictionary Directory Encyclopedia Thesaurus Yearbook/Almanac Image taken from print_reference.htm

4 Reference books are often overlooked sources of information. They can be valuable when looking for information on your research question. Probably the most useful reference source is the encyclopedia. Image taken from encyclopedia/animal_encyclopedia.htmlencyclopedia/animal_encyclopedia.html.

5 Two Types of Encyclopedias General Subject/Specialized

6 Two Types of Encyclopedias General General encyclopedias are multi- volume and cover in brief detail every topic imaginable. Examples of General Encyclopedias: World Book Encyclopedia Britannica Subject or Specialized Subject encyclopedias focus on a specific topic in more detail such as zoology or medicine. They can be one-volume or multi-volume. Examples of Subject Encyclopedias: Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine Marshall Cavendish Encyclopedia of Health

7 Encyclopedia Organization The information in an encyclopedia may be organized in different ways. A general encyclopedia like World Book is arranged alphabetically by entry. This entry on camping is found in the C volume of the World Book encyclopedia. Source: World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. C, pp. 304

8 Encyclopedia Organization Subject or specialized encyclopedias may be organized: – Alphabetically – Topically – Chronologically

9 Encyclopedia Organization To determine how an encyclopedia is organized you need to look at its Table of Contents. The Table of Contents for this encyclopedia shows that the entries are organized alphabetically. Source: The War on Drugs: An International Encyclopedia, pp. vii.

10 In this encyclopedia, the entries are organized by subject. Encyclopedia Organization Source: Companion Encyclopedia of Psychology, pp. v.

11 Encyclopedia Indexes To find information on a particular topic in any encyclopedia, it is helpful to use the index. Indexes will point you to the page on which a particular topic is discussed. Multi-volume encyclopedia indexes may include both the volume and page number. This index section for a multi-volume encyclopedia shows the volume and page number in which the topic is discussed, as shown in this sample on eye injuries. This index section just shows the page numbers on which the topic is discussed. Source: Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, Vol. 5, pg Source: Companion Encyclopedia of Psychology, Vol 2.,pg

12 Other Reference Sources Other reference sources can also be valuable when looking for additional information on your question. Statistical information can be found in almanacs or yearbooks. Names and addresses for individuals and organizations can be found in directories. Thesauri and dictionaries can help you with vocabulary.

13 Reference E-Books More and more reference books can be found online in the form of electronic or e-books. Just like online catalogs and databases, each company may have a different look or interface.

14 Here are some electronic reference titles found through the Davis High School Library’s website. ishs/

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18 Summing Up Reference sources can be valuable resources for research and writing.  They are a good place to start when looking for background information on your research question.  They may contain statistical information to support the positions you take when writing your paper.  Dictionaries and thesauri can help you with revising your paper.  Subject or specialized encyclopedias provide in-depth information for research.


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