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Early Childhood Education: Reference: Topic Overviews & More

A guide to the best of the NWACC Library's physical and electronic childhood education resources.

Reference: Topic Overviews & More

The research databases below are best for topic overviews, background info, brief facts, statistics, definitions, etc. from subject-specific and general encyclopedias, textbooks, dictionaries, and other reference sources. They cover a broad array of topics, and may also include additional resources beyond reference materials.

What Is a Reference Source?

A reference source is a work used for looking up specific information.

Purpose: Reference works are typically used to look up specific information, and are generally not read from cover to cover like a novel.

Scope: Reference works usually present broad information overviews and/or quick summaries with limited detailed analysis. Some reference books cover broad topics, such as a dictionary of English language, while others cover more focused topics, such as a dictionary of transportation logistics terminology.

Format: Reference works are available in print, media, and electronic format.

Organization: Reference works are arranged in a specific order (such as alphabetical, chronological, topical, etc.) and/or provide tools (indices, hyperlinks, cross-references, etc.) to help the user find information efficiently.

Research Smarter Tips

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