Magazine article Teach

Encarta Reference Library 2003

Magazine article Teach

Encarta Reference Library 2003

Article excerpt

Many of us tend to think of Encarta as an encyclopedia. The Encarta Reference Library (2003 edition) is more like a high tech library and homework centre designed for students doing assignment research and information gathering. As you will see, Encarta is more than just written content on a computer screen

To describe Encarta in its totality would be to write another encyclopedia, so we won't. What we are going to focus on are the aspects of Encarta that make it worth considering for teachers and students, versus the other great high tech library, better known as the Internet.

When you launch Encarta, you will have in front of you a browser and, within the browser's window, Encarta's Home Page. All the major content areas and sub-areas are listed on the right, so it is easy to immediately see what resources you have at your fingertips. On the left, there is a search function and the topics will list out below.

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If you are doing research for a paper or presentation, just type in the topic and select an article. Once you are into the article, you will find sub-articles, video clips, and recommended Web sites, so you are always able to deepen and refine your exploration of the topic area. As you discover sections of information that you want to save, Encarta's Researcher tool allows you to drop the information into a folder. What you might not expect is that you can easily save the bibliographical and source information for that specific article. Very handy when constructing your paper's bibliography.

If you are having trouble getting started on a project, Encarta's Homework Helper provides you with a substantive range of specific "how to" guidance papers such as how to write a...research paper, book report, science project, lab reports, personal essay, or an oral presentation, to name a few.

If your project includes statistics and charts, you will find tons of statistical content within Encarta as well as a chart making tool, so you can both gather statistics, array the information into charts, and then insert into your paper or presentation.

If you are wondering what topic to choose for a project in either the history or geography area, for example, Encarta has over 50 "virtual tours" that allow you to enter famous historical or geographic sites and navigate your way around. …

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