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PHI 101: Introduction to Philosophy (Online): Encyclopedias

This guide will introduce you to useful resources for PHI 101 course assignments. If you have questions or comments, please contact

Why 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.

Search Tips

 How to Search in Online Encyclopedias

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

                                              global warming

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

"climate change"

Good Databases for Philosophy Reference eBooks

These are good databases for finding information from encyclopedias and other reference books (specialized dictionaries, handbooks, etc.). Log in with your myNOVA username and password.

Philosophy Reference Books You Should Use