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cover one subject in-depth;
contain articles usually written by subject scholars and experts;
always cite sources of information;
are written at college or higher reading level;
- are usually acceptable sources for college-level papers.
- cover a little bit on all subjects;
- contain articles usually written by journalists or staff writers;
- rarely cite sources of information;
- are usually written at a 7th grade reading level;
- are generally not appropriate to cite in college-level papers.
Four good reasons to use subject encyclopedias:
- Get an overview of your topic from a reliable source.
- Gather valuable keywords (words, phrases, names, dates and events.)
- Find related topics using the cross-references.
- Find related articles using the sources.
- are not meant to be read cover to cover;
- often have many volumes with hundreds or thousands of pages;
- often include useful appendices, reading guides, and other “extras.”
Find Subject encyclopedias in both print and digital format:
- Print Subject Encyclopedias are:
- shelved in the reference section,
- arranged by call number,
- findable through the library catalog.
- Digital Subject Encyclopedias are:
- NOT available free by searching Google or any other search engine,
- ARE available on the library’s website (because the library buys them for you to access).