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ENF 2: Preparing for College English II - Behind the Beautiful Forevers (AL): Encyclopedias

Online Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia Search Tips

Since encyclopedia articles focus on basic, general information about a topic, what you type in the search box should also be general:

YES:  poverty

YES:  poverty AND "united states"
          absolute poverty
          relative poverty

NO:   how does the nature of poverty differ in the first world and third world?

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.