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Why Use Reference Sources?
Reference sources are good places to gather background information on a topic or get ideas when choosing a topic.
- specific factual information such as dates
- overviews or summaries of topics
- recommendations for additional sources
- research vocabulary
Types of reference sources
- specialized encyclopedias
- statistical compilations
Selected Online Reference Sources
Offers balanced, in-depth analyses of contemporary topics by veteran journalists, pro and con arguments by experts, chronologies, and annotated bibliographies to guide additional research.
Online reference library that provides access to a selection of reference books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, and books of quotations, not to mention a range of subject-specific titles covering everything from art to accountancy and literature to law.
Includes the complete encyclopedia, as well as Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the Britannica Book of the Year, and an Internet directory that includes more than 130,000 links to Web sites selected, rated, and reviewed by Britannica editors.
World News Digest
Seven decades of news digests. Also can search for top news stories by time period, country, and topic. Special features include editorial cartoons, country profiles, and more.
Some Specialized Online Reference Sources
Biography in Context
For past and present noteworthy figures, get biographies and full-text articles from hundreds of periodicals.
Find statistics on population, the economy, health & welfare, finance (including government expenditures), and education
Comprehensive access to statistical information from state and federal government agencies, IGOs, and nonprofit organizations.