Brain Train: Studying for Success

By Richard Palmer | Go to book overview

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

10

The mark of an educated man is that he's prepared to look things up.

Kingsley Amis

I've made the point several times that no teacher, no matter how clever and how kind, can be expected to know everything. Sooner or later, you are going to have to go elsewhere for some of your information, and also for additional stimulation. I am aware that telling someone to 'look it up' is much easier said than done. Very often, I'm afraid, it is the remark of a tired, irritated or just ignorant teacher; and it is often more or less useful as advice. For the point is, obviously, that no one can 'look something up' unless they first know how and where to do so. I hope this chapter, elementary though it is, will leave you better equipped for independent enquiry. I shall be looking at the following resources and techniques:
1. Reference books.
2. Libraries.
3. Periodicals.
4. The interpretation of reading-lists.
5. Bookshops.
6. Abstracts and indexes.
7. Personal indexes.

REFERENCE BOOKS

These are best divided into dictionaries and thesauruses on the one hand, and the remainder on the other.


Dictionaries and thesauruses

There is a profusion of such publications available nowadays, and the majority of them are first-class. But in order to get proper use out of a good dictionary, you've got to know how to use it; and this, as with so much else in study, means thinking sensibly.

-176-

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