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Research Guides

IFP100: Themes in World History

Why use encyclopedias?

Encyclopedias can be very helpful as a starting point for your research. They can provide you with background information and context. Most articles will have references or suggested further readings at the end.

However before you quote an encyclopedia article in an assignment, check with your professor. This is true for library encyclopedias as well as Wikipedia. For most assignments, do not quote the encyclopedia article - it is not considered a scholarly source. 

Finding the encyclopedias on your class list

Finding known titles is easy using the library's website. In the "Start your search" box enter title keywords or the whole title as a phrase, with quotes around it. To make your search more precise, tick off "Search by title" below the search box. 

TIP: Encyclopedias are a form of book.

When you click on a title in the list, it will show you the library, location, and call number. Robarts Reference is on the 4th floor. Robarts stacks are floors 9-13.

Online library encyclopedias

The library has many online encyclopedias and dictionaries. The following are two broad collections of reference resources:

Once you're in one of these collections, you can search on your specific topic.
This will bring up results in individual encyclopedias: