Are you researching a term paper for high school? Perhaps you’re preparing your thesis for your master’s degree. Or maybe you’re just curious about a particular topic about which you’d like to know a little more. You may find that free online encyclopedias are a great resource, at least as a starting point. Here are some reasons why this kind of tool could be effective for you.
While this undoubtedly depends on which online encyclopedia you use, the web medium generally offers you the same exact content as the physical book would. For example, Encyclopedia Britannica is readily available in digital form,as is World Book. It is important to note that both of these sources are accessible initially through free trials.
As opposed to having to lug a large book around or be at your home library to use it, being able to use an online encyclopedia free is significantly more accessible. Especially in the midst of busy schedules, it is incredibly convenient to be able to look up material on your smartphone or tablet if you’re away from your desktop computer.
Additional Online Features
Sometimes an online encyclopedia can function more broadly than its physical counterpoint, offering more ways to get valuable information. The Encyclopedia Britannica online has image galleries and lists in addition to its regular content, which means that learners who engage with the information in different ways can find the method that’s preferable to them. There are even interactive quizzes to make the process more fun.
It is important to distinguish encyclopedias like those mentioned above from sites like Wikipedia, which features content that is entirely user-generated. Particularly when researching an academic paper, Wikipedia should never be used as a primary source and is only beneficial as a springboard for more detailed research through other sources.
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