How to Use Reference Books

Let’s Discover… 


Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.

—Nathaniel Hawthorne

If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?

—Steven Wright

Explore the Following 


and Ponder

Meet the Dictionary

Watch the clip and ponder:

1) Why is the dictionary in ALPHABETICAL ORDER?

2) What is the purpose of GUIDE WORDS?

3) What are ENTRY WORDS?

4) What is the purpose of the PRONUNCIATION KEY? What is it found between?

5) What does a DEFINITION do? Which DEFINITION comes first if there is more than one definition?

6) What does the PART OF SPEECH tell you?

7) What is the purpose of an EXAMPLE SENTENCE?

8) What does a DIAGRAM do?

9) What are other forms of REFERENCE MATERIALS?

Need More Help? 

Explore the Following Links.

How to Use a Dictionary: at WikiHow

Thesaurus Exploration:

Watch the following clips and ponder:

1) How might a thesaurus and dictionary be alike? How might they differ?

2) What is the purpose of a thesaurus?

3) How might you misuse a thesaurus?