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Course: History 1, China (2024): Finding a reference source

What is a reference source?

A reference source will give you a quick and simple overview of a subject. It will probably be an article in a large book or database. It is organized to include:

  • definitions, synonyms
  • basic factual information
  • overview or guide to a subject
  • maps
  • statistics, charts, tables

Recognizing a reference source

Reference works can be print books, ebooks or databases (a database is a collection of pre-selected resources). They will often have one of these words in the title:

  • Almanac
  • Atlas
  • Dictionary or Biographical Dictionary
  • Directory
  • Encyclopedia
  • Factbook
  • Gazetteer (a geographical dictionary)
  • Handbook
  • Statistics
  • Thesaurus
  • Yearbook

Finding a reference source

These two encyclopedias are available in print and as eBooks. Click on the links below to go straight to the eBooks.