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Research Skills: Reference Sources

Basic research skills such as finding books, journal articles, working with databases, citing your sources, and more.

Why choose a reference source?


Reference sources (encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, atlases) give concise introductions to topics.  Use them to:

  • explore topics for research;
  • get background information;
  • explain unfamiliar ideas.

Reference sources are available at the MCC Library in both print and online formats.


CREDOreference is a database of over 500 reference e-books.  Find a collection of articles in electronic reference sources dealing with your subject. 

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Gale Virtual Reference Library   

Encyclopedia Britannica Online

Encyclopedia Brittanica Online includes the complete encyclopedia, as well as Merriam-Webster's Collegiate, a world atlas, timelines, and other tools.