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When you start to plan research it is always a good idea to begin with reference sources. This will give you a broad overview of a topic and may help you to either narrow broad topics or broaden narrow topics. In the past, we've encouraged students to use encyclopedias. Today many encyclopedias and other reference sources are availabe in online format.
Collection of full text, PDF encyclopedias with coverage in arts, history, literature, and science.
Online encyclopedia that will appeal to young and middle school students. Includes information for teachers including curriculum standards and some suggested lessons. Provided by the WV Library Commission as part of WV Info Depot.
Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
Outstanding source for definitions, etymologies of words, and much more.
CQ Researcher is often the first source that librarians recommend when researchers are seeking original, comprehensive reporting and analysis on issues in the news. Founded in 1923 as Editorial Research Reports, CQ Researcher is noted for its in-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy.
Now offering more than 800 highly regarded reference titles from over 80 publishers, Credo Reference covers every major subject and also provides Topic Pages as a starting point for researchers.
Points of View Reference Center
Points of View Reference Center (Ebsco) is an interface intended for public, academic, and high school libraries. Points of View is designed to assist researchers in understanding the full scope of controversial subjects. High school and undergraduate students can use Points of View as a guide to debating, developing arguments, writing position papers, and developing critical thinking skills. Each Points of View Essay includes a series of questions and additional material to generate further thought. Also included are thousands of supporting articles from the world’s top political and societal publications. The Points of View Debate Blog is a forum for students to express and exchange their unique views on topics in the news.
World News Digest
World News Digest brings together and enhances nearly seven decades of news from the renowned Facts On File World News Digest in print. This archival record of domestic and international news is updated weekly and contains more than 1 million internal hyperlinks and convenient new features such as tabbed search results. It covers all major political, social, and economic events since November 1940. This publication of record is unrivaled for its depth, breadth, and accuracy.