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Class 3: Beginning the Research Process by Mind Map: Class 3: Beginning the Research Process
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Class 3: Beginning the Research Process

Reference Resources


Book designed to be consulted for definite items of information rather than to be read cover to cover

What are they?

Characteristics, Collection of information, Intended to be found quickly, Referred to for specific pieces of information, Emphasis on fact, Written in informative style

Uses, find statistics, dates, addresses, formulas, other factual information, get broad overview and background information, gain clear understanding of a topic, get definition of unfamiliar term, locate additional resources on topic, obtain summary of events surrounding topic, discover how to complete a task, solve a problem, answer a question


Types, Those that contain needed information, Dictionaries, language, used for guidance on the definition, spelling, pronunciation, and etymology (history) of words, subject, dictionary devoted to a specialized field, Encyclopedias, General Encyclopedias, information on all areas of knowledge, Britannica Online, Wikipedia, Subject-Related Encyclopedias, information on specific subjects/disciplines, Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications, Handbooks/Manuals/Guides, terms are used almost interchangeably, Thesauri, Almanacs/Yearbooks, compendia of useful data and statistics generally updated annually, Statistical sources, numerical information on a wide breadth and depth of subjects, Directories, Alphabetical or subject listings containing names, addresses, and identifying data of persons, organizations, publications, web sites, etc., Biographical sources, information on individuals; the information given ranges in length from several brief sentences containing basic factual information about a person, to quite extensive "chapters" on individuals, or "mini-biographies, Geographical sources, Sometimes atlases are used to present information over time or on a particular theme, Those that tell reader where the information can be found, Bibliographies, list of information sources, Indexes, systematic guide to the contents of a file, document, or group of documents

Scholarly vs. Popular



Web Sites

Print vs. Electronic


easy to search through electronic versions

easy access for users - no need to come to library

can save administrative and storage costs

publishers save on printing, binding, warehousing, shipping, handling costs


often requires additional software to read

reading from screen sometimes difficult for many

pushes cost of printing to user

not as portable to users