Why Use Reference Tools?
Can I Cite an Encyclopedia in my Paper?
Ask your instructor, but normally, encyclopedias provide insufficient information when researching a topic in the academic environment. Encyclopedias are not meant to be your only source for research. Instead, use them as a starting point to gain a basic understanding of the scope and terminology associated with your topic so that you can then begin in-depth research. Many entries do contain a "Further Reading" section, however, that you may find useful for locating more detailed information.
Encyclopedias and other reference works provide background information for your research. In general, you do not cite them in your paper.
Please note: If you need to request accommodations with content linked to on this guide, on the basis of a disability, please contact Accessibility Resources and Services by emailing them at Disability.Services@esc.edu. Requests for accommodations should be submitted as early as possible to allow for sufficient planning. If you have questions, please visit the Accessibility Resources and Services website.