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When to Use Reference Sources

Reference sources, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, are useful for:

  • gaining a broad overview of an unfamiliar area of law
  • finding case law on a topic
  • reviewing major legislation on a topic
  • determining how words have been defined in different legal contexts

Reference sources are written by legal experts, and many connect to directly to the primary sources they reference. They should be used as a starting point for research and a way to move toward case law, legislation and scholarly secondary sources that are the backbone of legal research.

Canadian Encyclopedias

American Encyclopedias

English Encyclopedias

More Encyclopedias

Dictionaries / Abbreviations