Skip to Main Content

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Atlases: Introduction

Online reference sources. Some are subscription resources from the ACC Library; others are on the public web

What are Reference Sources?

Reference Sources are designed to help you find information to include in 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)
  • Definitions and keywords to help you find more sources about your topic

Types of Reference Sources:

  • Almanacs (Facts, Statistics)
  • Atlas (Geographical info)
  • Dictionary (Definitions, Synonyms)
  • Encyclopedia (Topic Overview)
  • Handbook (Facts, Statistics, Timelines)

How to Use this LibGuide:

How to Navigate this Page

Be sure to notice the tabs at the top.  These will lead you to information on:

  • Encyclopedias - general and subject-specific; good starting point for research with background information on various topics, very helpful in creating a research thesis question
  • Dictionaries - general and subject-specific and foreign languages quick look-up, contains shorter entries than encyclopedias, not as comprehensive, useful for finding definitions
  • Atlases - general information about locations, historical, geological, etc. maps
  • General Reference - free sites with many types of background information sources in miscellaneous toics
  • Get Help from a Librarian



Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Courtney Mlinar
Head Librarian / Associate Professor
Elgin Campus Library
Copyright Officer
Austin Community College
1501 W HWY 290
Elgin, TX 78621

ACC Web Site || Library Web Site || GET HELP! || Search the Library
Contact Us • © Library Services, Austin Community College