Why use reference tools?

Get a good overview and history of a topic, term or issue.

Focus on your topic and place it properly within context of the field of study.

Find alternate keywords to help locate relevant articles and books.

Virtual Reference Websites

American Sign Language Browser
Dictionary for American Sign Language with illustrations.

The ARTFL Project
The ARTFL Project is a consortium-based service that provides access to North America's largest collection of digitized French resources.

Bartleby
Bartleby publishes thousands of free online classics of reference, literature, and nonfiction.

Bartleby: The Elements of Style
Intended for use in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature, it gives in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style and concentrates attention on the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.

Merriam-Webster
Merriam-Webster is America's foremost publisher of language-related reference works.  The company publishes a diverse array of print and electronic products, including Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition -- America's best-selling desk dictionary -- and Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged.

OneLook Dictionary Search
A search engine for words and phrases with more than 5 million words in more than 900 online dictionaries that are indexed by the OneLook® search engine.

Rhyme Zone
RhymeZone is an online tool that aspires to be the best and fastest way for writers to find words.