Reference Sources are designed to help you get started on your research paper. They can help you in many ways-
- To get background information on your topic
- Information about important people (Who), events (What), places (Where), dates (When) and how they are related to your topic (How)
- Great definitions and ideas for Keywords which will help you find more sources on your topic
Types of Reference Sources:
- Almanacs: collection of facts, statistics, charts.
- Atlas & Gazetteers: visual representations--atlases--or geographical dictionaries--gazetteers--that provide information about places.
- Bibliographies: provide lists of materials about a particular subject.
- Biographical Dictionary: provide short sketches about the lives of important people.
- Dictionary & Thesauri: provide definitions, synonyms and histories of words.
- Directories: list names and addresses of persons, organizations, businesses.
- Encyclopedia: can be either general or specialized by subject matter. Contains articles on subjects in various fields, usually including helpful bibliographies.
- Handbook & Manuals: "how to" books, containing instructions and miscellaneous items of information on one subject. MLA Handbook, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
- Indexes: tell where information can be found in other sources.
- Statistical Sources: give data or numbers that have been compiled to quantify and compare the characteristics of people, places or things.
- Yearbooks: (also called annuals) chronicle the events of a certain year, usually in a particular field.