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This guide will help you begin your research in Geology through the library's collections and beyond.

Why Reference?

Photomicrograph of gabbro under polarized light, showing crystalsReference works are an excellent first stop in your research and are incredibly useful for:

  • Getting an overview of a topic
  • Facts--Data, physical and chemical properties, formulae, procedures, definitions, etc.
  • Getting ideas or narrowing your scope
  • Identifying core works on the subject and expert authors

Encyclopedias and dictionaries, while useful, are not usually cited in your research. Ask your librarian or instructor about citing a reference work to be sure.

(Photomicrograph of gabbro, 2006. Siim Sepp.)

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