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World History & Civilizations: Encyclopedias

Direct comments to aanderson@nvcc.edu

Online Encyclopedias

ephesus ancient library

Search Tips

Use broad terms, as encyclopedias usually provide general overviews of topics.

mughal empire

Use quotation marks ( "  " ) around phrases (two or more words); this tells the database to look for the words in a specific order.

"mughal empire"

Why to Use Reference Books

An encyclopedia is a type of reference book. Use a reference book to:

  • Define important vocabulary words related to your topic,
  • Find a basic overview and main issues related to your topic,
  • Find references to additional resources, and
  • Discover important background information related to your topic.

You will typically not use a reference book or encyclopedia as a source in your research.  The information in these sources is for your own background knowledge.