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Here's a summary of what reference tools should be used when asked by the following class of questions:

Class of Questions
Sample Types
Representative Sources
1. Language
Definition, spelling, symbols, foreign
terms, usage
Dictionary
2. Background
History, general information, self education
Encyclopedia
3. Trend
Current events, past year's development recent happenings
Yearbook, serial/ almanac
5. Places
Locations, descriptions, distances, population, etc., area measurement
Gazetteer,atlast, map, guidebooks, globes
6. Organizations
addresses, purposes
Directory
7. Facts
curiosities, statistics, events, formulas,
allusions
Handbook
8. Activities
"How to Do", "How to Make"
Manual
9. Bibliography
Reviews, best books, literature subject,
National, trade
subject, bibliography
10. Illustrations
Pictures, cartoons, slides, films, recordings
Audio-visual material

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