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Encyclopedias and other reference books will:

  • Give you brief facts about your topic.
  • Give you a general understanding of your topic. 
  • Highlight the important things about your topic. 
  • Help you put your topic into context. 
  • Show you how you can break down your topic into small manageable sub-topics (topical outline).
  • Help you brainstorm your topic (Is your topic too narrow, too broad).
  • Provide you with extra sources of information.

NOTE: You need to log in using your library barcode and PIN in order to access the e-books if you are off-campus. The following titles are a small sample of available resources. To find more resources, search the Library catalogue.

Recommended Encyclopedias/Reference Books ANIMAL SCIENCE

Recommended Encyclopedias/Reference Books CROP SCIENCE

About Wikipedia

Wikipedia is NOT considered an appropriate or a credible source for academic research. The credibility of the information is questionable because anyone can edit the information in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia, is however a source that you can use (with caution):

  • As a starting point for background information on your topic
  • To find keywords that you can use for further research
  • For a topical outline. A topical outline shows you the important concepts that you have to discuss in your paper
  • To decide if your topic is too specific or too broad
  • To put your topic into context; in other words, which aspects of your topic you would like to write about
  • The references and links provided at the end of each entry can lead you to credible and scholarly information