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What are Reference Sources?

Reference sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, statistical records, government information, almanacs, & more. They can be in print or online in eBooks. Topics are often arranged alphabetically. Use the indexes at the at the back of the books or in the last volume to track down your topic. 

Why Use Reference Sources?

Credible Reliable Sources:

  • Authoritative publishers
  • Articles are written by well respected scholars/experts in the field

Good Background Information:

  • Efficient method to identify key terms, dates, people, theories

More Effective Database Searching:

  • Provide you with key words to more efficiently search for articles in databases

Bibliographies:

  • Most reference articles provide bibliographies that can lead you to new sources in books and journals 

CREDO Online Reference

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CREDO provides online access to 650+ full text eBooks including encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, and much more.  Searches can be expanded to include articles in SMU databases for more in depth coverage. Try the Mind Map feature to get ideas for related topics and key words

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Historical Dictionaries Series

Use country books in the Historical Dictionaries series to find background information on land and people; history; and social, economic, and political development, along with A-Z entries specific to the country title.