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Specialized encyclopedias like those contained in the library databases mentioned below can be invaluable for exploring a topic. In order to inform your listener about a topic, you must understand it yourself. Books and encyclopedias can help fill in any gaps in your own knowledge about your topic. Remember, encyclopedias are designed to give neutral background information.
Gale Ebooks (formerly GVRL)
Gale eBooks has over 200 encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. Look here for biology, chemistry, nursing and medicine, sociology, history, education, law, and more.
Provides online versions of 500 published reference works, including general and specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias. Try the Concept Map to search for terms and topics that are interconnected and displayed in a visual form.
An online version of McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms. It contains nearly 9,000 online encyclopedia articles, terms, images and videos related to sciences and technology. The Study Center provides essay topics, study guides and bibliographies.
Health and Wellness (Gale)
Provides access to medical reference materials. Includes nearly 400 health/medical journals, hundreds of pamphlets, over 700 health-related videos from partner Healthology, Inc., and articles from 2,200 general interest publications in addition to a broad collection of Gale reference titles.
"Hot Topics" Library Databases
The databases below also provide background essays on current issues, as well as magazine and newspaper articles. If you are looking for a topic idea for your speech, browse the topics in these databases. Remember, you are informing, not persuading!