Pellissippi HOME | Library Site A-Z

How to Research: Books

Books & eBooks

Most Useful For

  • Finding in-depth information about a topic

Points to Consider

  • Information in books is usually 2-4 years old, because it takes a long time to write and publish a book.
  • Check the publication date to make sure the information is not outdated.
  • Read the author's background information & credentials. Is the author qualified to write on this topic? Is there any potential bias the author may have?

How to Search For Books

  • Use OneSearch to find books, ebooks, e-audiobooks, and more.
  • Follow the link in the ebook's record to access the resource. If you are off-campus, you will be prompted to enter your Pellissippi username and password.

Reference Books


  • Encyclopedias
  • Dictionaries
  • Almanacs
  • Atlases & Gazetteers
  • Indexes & Bibliographies

Most Useful For

  • Encyclopedias - brief introductory or background information about a topic
  • Dictionaries - information about words, including definitions, word history, usage, etc.
  • Almanacs - statistical data, often organized into charts, tables, and lists
  • Atlases & Gazetteers - maps, charts, population data, and other geographical information
  • Indexes & Bibliographies - organized lists of resources that contain information about a topic

Points to Consider

  • Most reference resources are either general (ex. Encyclopaedia Britannica) or specific to a particular subject (ex. Encyclopedia of Forensic Science).

How to Search for Reference Books

  • Use OneSearch to find print and electronic reference books.