Ten Days of Raising a Life-Long Learner: Day 6 — Research Ninja Skills, Part 3Maggie Hogan
Ninja Research Skills (Part 3)
Absolutely Indispensable Reference Helps
Yesterday, we talked about sources for finding out pretty much anything and how to discern which sources are reliable. Today, let’s discuss specific books and sites.
I highly recommend owning several versions besides your family’s preferred translation.
- One of my favorite websites is www.Biblegateway.com which has easy-to-look-up versions in a myriad of translations and nice on-line commentaries too, including Matthew Henry’s.
- For high school and adult every-day use consider the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition. It’s affordable and comes with a searchable CD-ROM (which even finds words you spell incorrectly yes! thank you!).
- I also love the slightly pricier New Oxford American Dictionary.
- And then there is the much easier-on-the-eye (4,000 color images) and also widely respected The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (The print edition includes a passkey code for a free download of a smart phone app.)
- Then there are a multitude of options for younger students. Just remember, there is no perfect dictionary. Some are better in one area and weaker in others. Some families might prefer to have two on hand.
- Consider The American Heritage Student Dictionary
or Merriam-Webster Children’s Dictionary – DK Publishing
Sigh, so many dictionaries to love and so little time to read them…
NOTE: The one in your word processor DOES NOT count.
The paperback that has words just arranged alphabetically isn’t much better.
- Do yourself a huge favor and spend under 20.00 for the best, most useful thesaurus ever invented: Roget’s International Thesaurus. Spend an hour to learn to use it and you will wonder how you ever wrote without it. All high school students should be well acquainted with this book!
- Younger students would be best served to start with a simpler thesaurus like the Scholastic Student Thesaurus by John Bollard
Do you know what amazing information a good almanac contains?
Optional, but every home library would benefit from a recent almanac.
[Warning: sadly, many student almanac’s contain pop culture so
please look through yours carefully before handing it off to a child.]
- National Geographic Kids Almanac 2012 is a usually fairly safe choice for students
A book of quotations is best arranged topically in order to
find just the right quote. These are great for history papers,
storytelling, inspiration, and enlivening dinner conversation!
- The Harper Book of Quotations 3rd Edition edited by Robert I. Fitzhenry is a nice, inexpensive version.
- My favorite searchable site for quotes is http://bartleby.com/100/
- For those over-the-top lovers of quotations, the book I think is the best thing since the letter Q, is The Home Book of Quotations edited by Burton Stevenson. Out of print but available used. (Health Warning: it weighs about ten pounds!)
Favorite Writing Reference Books
- I don’t know what I’d do without the Chicago Manual of Style. Be sure to get the latest (16th) version which includes: how to treat punctuation, names, numbers, tables, quotations, dialogue, abbreviations, etc. PLUS must-know guidelines for web writing and references. This book (or website subscription) is a MUST for the serious high school or college student.
- For simpler needs, another go-to resource is the Big Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. There is an online option for it, as well.
Well, I ran out of time before I got to atlases (possibly my most favorite reference material of all. Or maybe not. So hard to have a favorite child!) but that’s how I roll. So, here’s hoping you stop back for Day 6:
A Close Look at Atlases:
Ninja Skills for Finding Your Way!
Be sure to visit these brilliant women during our
10 Day of Adventure between November 7th-18th!
I love these ladies and I know you will, too.
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