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What Are The Different General References With Their Meanings?

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Abi Ainscough answered
There are lots of different types of general references, including the Internet, dictionaries, thesauruses, maps or atlases and encyclopedias.

  • The Internet
The internet is an incredibly useful tool and contains information on almost every subject imaginable. Many people feel that the internet has replaced the likes of dictionaries, thesauruses, maps and encyclopedias because it contains the same information, and more, as these references, all in one place. The internet is widely used as a research and reference tool in schools, for example, to help children to research a topic in class.

  • Dictionaries
Dictionaries are published records of words that are in common usage at any one time. The words in a dictionary are in an alphabetical order, and each word in the dictionary is accompanied by a definition, stating what the word means. Sometimes, a phonetic spelling of the word is also listed, along with an example sentence demonstrating how the word might be used.

  • Thesauruses
Thesauruses are similar to dictionaries in that they are comprehensive collections of words, listed in an alphabetical order. However, rather than stating the meaning of a word, as a dictionary would, a thesaurus provides a list of words that have the same (or very similar) meanings to the word the user looked up. So, for example, if a thesaurus was used to look up the word "happy", some alternative suggestions might be content, glad, gleeful, joyful and delighted.

  • Maps or atlases
Maps or atlases are used for identifying the exact location of a place. They are also useful for helping people to navigate from one place to another, and therefore provide their users with directions to a destination.

  • Encyclopedias
Encyclopedias are usually large, heavy books because they contain a lot of information. Encyclopedias provide information on lots of different topics, such as international and national events and figures, animals, periods in history and inventions. They generally provide a brief overview of the subject in question, and so are great starting points for further research.

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