Reference Tools: Handbooks/Manuals
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3. READY REFERENCE SOURCES

b. Handbooks / Manuals

Handbook -a treatise on a specific subject; often nowadays a simple but all?embracing treatment, containing concise information, and being Small enough to be held in the ?hand; but strictly, a book written primarily for practitioners and serving for constant revision or reference.

Compendium - a brief summary of a larger work or a field of knowledge. (Katz)

Classification of Handbooks
1) curiosities - questions ranging from customs, traditions, events, superstitious to science and arts. These are mostly answerable by this type of handbook.

2) literary- this deals with allusions identification of plots, characters,
incidents, quotations.

3) statistics - this covers statistical information on population, finance, education, business and industry.

4) documentary - this gives exact wording of rules, regulations, laws, decisions, and documents.

5) parliamentary and debate - information regarding questions conducting meetings, supporting arguments, participation in debates are included here.

6) specific subject - facts relating to subject areas like government, education, history, geography, sports, science and technology.

Note:
Although handbooks and manuals are synonymous, a slight degree of difference comes in between them in such a way that a manual has instructions on how to do or make things, or how to perform whereas a handbook gives miscellaneous facts and figures on one or many subjects prepared for ready use and usually gives brief and handy information. (Shores)

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