WHAT ARE REFERENCE MATERIALS?
Reference works are compilations of information to which people can refer to get quick and authoriitative information on a chosen topic.
Examples of reference works include encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographical dictionaries, thesauruses, yearbooks, almanacs, handbooks, guides, and atlases.
The items of information in reference materials are often arranged alphabetically. Reference materials generally contain indexes to further assist you in locating desired information. Reference works can be found in print format or on-line.
WHY USE REFERENCE MATERIALS?
- Reference materials are quick sources of information.
- Reference materials often will provide broad overviews of a topic.
- Reference materials usually provide bibliographies that will direct you to additional information on a given topic.
- If you need to choose a topic for a report or school assignment, a quick browse of a reference tool, such as an encyclopedia, may help you find and select a topic.
- When writing a paper or report, you may find that you need to narrow or expand the scope of your topic. If you read about your chosen topic in a reference tool, you may get ideas about how to revise your topic.