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Physical Science: About Reference Sources

Reference Sources

"Use reference books (also called reference or background sources / resources) to get quick specific facts or information or an overview of a subject. Some examples of reference sources are: dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, almanacs, directories, atlases, and handbooks. These can be online or in print." (McKenzie, 2017). Reference sources can also point to scholarly sources in their list of references or suggested resources for further reading.

5 Reasons to Use Reference Sources

Encyclopedia Example

Bioethics encyclopedia cover"Vegetarianism" in Bioethics

MLA Citation for an Entry from an Encyclopedia from a Database - Make sure to double-space & use a hanging indent

Linzey, Andrew. “Vegetarianism.” Bioethics, edited by Bruce Jennings, 4th ed., vol. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2014, pp. 254-258.. Gale Virtual Reference Library,

Use the Index

The index, located at the back of the book, is an alphabetical list of the specific subjects covered in the book, along with the corresponding page numbers. Indexes may provide names, dates, events, geographic locations, and other terms related to the contents of the book. An index can also provide keywords that might be useful for further research on a topic.

If an encyclopedia is a multi-volume set, the last volume is usually the index.

For electronic encyclopedias, the index is typically searchable.

Image of an index