Library Blog

Kendriya Vidyalaya Port Trust, Kochi

How to use an encyclopaedia

An encyclopaedia is an easy-to-use reference tool found in all libraries. An encyclopaedia may be one volume and have a very specific topic as its subject, or an encyclopaedia may have multiple volumes that cover a wide range of topics. Because encyclopaedias are so easy to use and so accessible, many people use them as their first choice for a reference tool.

1. Decide if you need a general encyclopaedia or a specialized one. Most general encyclopaedias are multivolume sets and follow a similar format.

2. Examine the directions for the specific encyclopaedia you are using. Most encyclopaedias are set up in alphabetical format, but not all are. Some encyclopaedias require that you know the key word or subject heading in order to find the correct information scattered throughout a variety of volumes. Other encyclopaedias devote different volumes to different subjects.

3. Locate the index. Depending on the encyclopaedia, the index is usually in the last series of volumes and is in alphabetical order. It gives you page numbers and volume numbers to locate the article you are researching.

4. Read the article. As you do research, you can find other cross-references that can broaden your topic and provide new insight into your research. Also, pay attention to maps, graphs and pictures in the article.

5. Study the outline provided for longer articles. This is a helpful reference tool when organizing your writing.

6. Cite authors correctly. Each encyclopaedia has different methods of listing authors. This information is either in the introductory material or in the index.
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Book Highlight

Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this playful and perceptive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice.

Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die.

To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other—and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.

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