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IDS 101: Exploring the Nature of Language Acquisition: Finding Background Information

Authoritative Reference Sources vs Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great resource for getting general info about something, but because anyone can contribute or change its content, it is sometimes considered unreliable.  It is a good place to start your research, but it is best to double check what you find against other sources.  


Consider consulting the library's print or electronic encyclopedias, dictionaries, or other reference books to backup the basic information of your paper.  Reference books can provide a general overview of a topic and help identify synonyms, related terms, or basic data; these sources often include references and lists of further readings.  Additionally, these resources have typically gone through an editorial process to check for accuracy.  To the right and below are some resources that may be of use.

Reference Books

Online Reference Books

Oxford English Dictionary

Samuel Johnson. A Dictionary of the English Language  (1755)

Johnson, Samuel, William Strahan, and Andrew Millar. A Dictionary of the English Language : in Which the Words Are Deduced from Their Originals, and Illustrated in Their Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers : to Which Are Prefixed, a History of the Language, and an English Grammar. [First edition]. London: Printed by W. Strahan, for J. and P. Knapton ; T. and T. Longman ; C. Hitch and L. Hawes ; A. Millar ; and R. and J. Dodsley, 1755.  Vault PE1620 .J6 1755

Willamette University

Willamette University Libraries

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301
Pacific Northwest College of Art Library
511 NW Broadway.
Portland Oregon 97209