When anyone mentions online encyclopedias free of charge, where does your mind go? If you are over the age of 50, chances are you may say “Wha?” But, under 50 your immediate response is most likely Wikipedia, right? Well, there are other free online encyclopedias out there that are much more reliable and reputable than Wikipedia. Consider the following three the next time you need some info, especially if you have a school project coming up.
This is just a part of a site tied in with a whole suite of resources for the educationally minded. It is part of such favorites as Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com, and even has quotes, translations, and Word Dynamo, a vocabulary building tool, as well.
But Reference acts as you would expect any of the other free online encyclopedias to. You enter your subject in the search bar, and the result pops up, giving you full information and description, going into fine detail on certain things, and providing additional sources as well.
It offers the same format as Reference, with a search bar that you use to pull up whatever topic you are looking for. It also touts that it allows you to search over 100 different encyclopedias and dictionaries online, through that single resource. This is the first option that comes up when you search for “free online encyclopedias”, so it is clearly one of the most popular and used online encyclopedia resources.
For those of us who grew up in the time of books made out of paper, this was the standard in any high school library. The classic Encyclopedia Brittanica. It took all the way until 2012 for the Brittanica to become fully digitized, and to stop publishing their full set which averaged 145 pounds over 32,640 pages. Although this may not show up as the first search result, this is my go-to resource as it was what many of us relied on to get us a passing grade in high school.
Do not get stuck relying 100% on Wikipedia. There are several different resources that you can be using instead of it. These are actually valid to be used in school projects and papers, whereas most schools still frown upon the use of Wikipedia. Trust some names that have been around longer than Wikipedia has, and you just may find some new information.