Module 1 header graphic

Encyclopedia Americana

Encyclopedias provide factual articles on many subjects. An encyclopedia may be a book, a set of books, or even an electronic resource. The articles are usually arranged alphabetically.

There are two types of encyclopedias -- general and subject. General encyclopedias provide overviews on a wide variety of topics. Subject encyclopedias contain entries focusing on one field of study.

Wikipedia is the most famous online, general encyclopedia in the world. However, its contents are frequently changed and not always by experts! You can use it to get background information but always verify facts with another reliable source. If you don't believe us, take a look at Wikipedia's own disclaimer.

Use an Encyclopedia

  • when looking for background information on a topic

  • when trying to find key ideas, important dates, or concepts

Examples of Encyclopedias

  • Encyclopedia Americana (general encyclopedia - 30 vols)

  • World Book Encyclopedia (general encyclopedia - 22 vols)

  • Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (subject encyclopedia - 4 vols)

  • Grove Art Online (subject encyclopedia - online)

  Back | Next

Module 1 navigation bar graphic