|Image credit: Jim Barker on
Flickr. Some rights reserved.
Welcome to the guide for FSEM 100F1. To navigate this guide, please use the tabs at the top of the page.
Remember, if you need help with research, ask a librarian! We're here to help you. Call the Reference desk at (540) 654-1148, or email us at email@example.com.
Why do encyclopedias matter?
Isn't it true that you can't cite an encyclopedia in a research paper?
What's the point of a source you can't cite?
It's true that you shouldn't cite an encyclopedia in a research paper, but that's not what encyclopedias are for. Encyclopedias are for background information -- information that you need in order to start your research. Whatever your research topic might be, a good encyclopedia article can give you all of the following:
That's why encyclopedias are important, and why Wikipedia is important. When you write a Wikipedia article, you're jumpstarting other people's research, all around the world.