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Encyclopedias are a great place to learn basic information about a topic. However, they are not generally acceptable as scholarly sources for college research.

Two types of Encyclopedias

  • general--provide overviews on a wide variety of topics
  • subject--contain entries focusing on one field of study

    Use an Encyclopedia

  • when looking for background information on a topic
  • when trying to find key ideas, important dates or concepts
  • Examples

  • Encyclopedia of Psychology (subject encyclopedia)
  • Encyclopedia Americana (general encyclopedia)