|There may be a quiz question related to the information on this page.|
Dictionaries and encyclopedias are useful places to begin your research if you are unfamiliar with terms or concepts in your question or assessment.
Subject dictionaries can help you find:
Encyclopedias can help you find:
Search for dictionaries and encyclopedias on your topic in the Library collection:
e.g. for a definition of fascism, search using a broader subject term such as politics dictionaries
Searching for dictionar* will pick up both dictionary and dictionaries.
The Library collection includes many foreign language dictionaries.
Search for foreign language dictionaries in the Library collection:
e.g. for a French English dictionary, search for french dictionar*
See the Languages & linguistics subject guide for dictionaries and other resources in foreign languages.
A thesaurus is a list of synonyms, often displaying broader terms, narrower terms, related terms and antonyms. For example the entry for environment in Thesaurus.com includes a large range of related terms as well as examples of how to use environment in a sentence and synonyms for different meanings of the word environment.
Many Library databases include a thesaurus.
Search for your keywords in the thesaurus to find more effective search terms as well as broader and narrower terms. This is particularly useful if the terms you are using in your search are not retrieving suitable resources.
Using a thesaurus can also help identify synonyms and spelling used in the database.