Social Work

The Credo Reference database has many dictionaries and encyclopedias available to you online. Use your student ID and PIN numbers to login. 

Dictionaries and encyclopedias are types of general reference works that provide brief and concise factual information.

Use these subject-specific resources to get started on a research topic by exploring background information and finding key terms and concepts:

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Reference books and databases provide general, introductory and background information, which is helpful when beginning to explore and develop a research topic:

1) Encyclopedias

A compendium of knowledge or branches of knowledge presented in a comprehensive but easy-to-read and concise manner:

  • Can be general (attempting to cover all fields) or specialized (aiming to be comprehensive in a particular subject or discipline).
  • Contain short essays or overviews with concise background and factual information 
  • May be a single-volume or multi-volume set of books
  • Do not provide in-depth and current information, so should not be the only source consulted in the research process
  • Are written by researchers and subject specialists

2) Dictionaries & Glossaries

An alphabetical list of words and terms that confirms spelling, pronunciation, etymology and/or definition. ‚Äč

  • Can be monolingual (with definitions of words from one language) or bilingual (with words translated into another language)
  • May focus on a specific subject, such as medical terminology or accounting terms

3) Thesaurus 

An alphabetical list of words and terms accompanied by synonyms and/or antonyms

  • Use a thesaurus to further your understanding of word usage and locate words with similar or opposite meanings