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Online and in-print, reference sources answer questions. Choose the best type of reference source to answer your research questions.

   - General reference sites refer to sites specializing in particular reference sources.  They answer specific types of questions.

   - Reference Gateways are comprehensive sites that attempt to provide a variety of general reference sources.



Reference Sources Table
Question
Source
Purpose of Source
What is my topic about? I need names, dates, etc. to develop keywords for researching.
Encyclopedias give general overviews of historical and current topics.
What does this word mean?
Dictionaries provide the meanings of words.
How do I drive to Northern Valley?
Directories list locations and other information, like telephone numbers.
What is the population of New Jersey?
Almanacs provide miscellaneous statistics and general information.
Why does that character in a modern story have a name from a myth?
Handbooks are much like Almanacs, but are usually
focused on a specific topic. They provide definitions,
explanations, and background information.
How do I find where an article, poem, or play in an anthology or magazine?
Indexes list where to find poems, plays, articles, etc., items that are too "small" to be included in the library catalog.
Who said or wrote that famous line, "To be or not to be . . . ?"
Quotation resources tell you who said what, and when and where they said it.
What are the latitude and longitude of
my home town?
Atlases are collections of maps.
What happened the day I was born?
Yearbooks, also called timelines, list the events of a year or groups of years, like decades.
Is there a famous person with my
last name?
Collective Biographies provide brief descriptions of people's lives and accomplishments.


Reference Portals
Reference portals or gateways answer a variety of questions.







 
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