What Are The Best Online Encyclopedias For Students?
In 1668, Francis Bacon coined the phrase “Scientia potentia est,” which translates to “Knowledge is power.”
Today’s schooling system fully embraces this concept by empowering its students to consume as much knowledge as possible. And encyclopedias are an excellent catalyst for this process. They provide a helping hand for research projects, debates, and for building one’s general knowledge bank.
But how can you choose one? There are hundreds of online encyclopedias out there. Each claims to have compiled all the information in the world. But we all know that can’t be true.
In this article, we’re going to talk to you about the five best free online encyclopedias for students. They’ve been listed in the order in which we found them most useful. But you should read through the descriptions for each. Then pick the best one for you.
Plex Page is a free online encyclopedia for students by Algoritmi Vision. It uses abstractive multi-document text summarization to put out content which means that it simplifies complicated information.
For example, if you have a project on Napoleon, other sites will give you pages upon pages outlining each one of his reforms. But with Plex Page, you’ll get a brief outline. Additionally, the site will provide subheadings covering specific topics like his military successes.
When Algoritmi Vision built this encyclopedia, they prioritized the needs of their users. The AI running the site is programmed to look at the interests of the students using it and the general popularity of a particular search. You can learn more about their process here.
Overall, it has over a million articles and covers all types of subjects. You can find details on the Library of Alexandria, the history of leprechauns, and even on Star Wars.
If you’re running out of time on a project and need a summary on a topic, choose Plex Page because it’s a one stop shop for all the information on the net. It’s also great if you like reading in your free time. The website has different sections like Society, Technology, and Natural Science. You can browse through them all.
Encyclopedia Britannica lets you research topics in the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and under different topics like News, Weather, and Sports. Alternatively, this free online encyclopedia for students also lets you look for a specific topic by typing it in the search bar.
When you look up a topic, three columns will show up. The first one has a list of websites. Each one is related to your search, and the service recommends reading through them. The second column has the magazines, and the third is titled Encyclopedia Britannica.
We recommend this site because its search results are extensive and fun. For instance, if you look up the solar system, you get theories of the universe by Kepler, Aristotle, etc. But it’ll pair up these detailed articles with fun animations. This is important because it makes sure learning never becomes boring. And this makes it ideal for high school students.
Encarta Reference is a part of Microsoft Encarta – a digital multimedia encyclopedia. It has a world atlas and a talking dictionary. These two features make it stand out among the competition.
As for the interface, Encarta is fairly simple to use. It has a search box at the top of the screen where you type in your question. Instead of just saying “milky way,” you have to ask the site, “what is the milky way.” It takes more time, but this feature is great for complex topics.
There is another type of box under the Encarta Enquire Box. This one just looks through the encyclopedia for available data.
Each article in this encyclopedia is filled with hyperlinks. So if you want to learn more about a specific topic, you can do so. Additionally, you get a list of related web links. For instance, a search on Abraham Lincoln has a main article, pictures, audio of speeches, and related links to the Library of Congress, Illinois State Archives, and the White House.
This free online encyclopedia for students is an excellent choice if you need in-depth information on a topic and have a lot of time to go over it.
The Infoplease Encylopedia is a part of the bigger Infoplease, which has an almanac, dictionary, and thesaurus. The free online encyclopedia for students has a collection of over fifty-seven thousand articles and is an excellent research tool for high school students.
When you look for a topic, you’ll find that it is divided into subtopics. However, unlike other platforms like Plex Page, Infoplease doesn’t open them all in the same webpage. So if you have a poor internet connection, you’ll have to wait for each to open. This can be frustrating at times.
Another drawback of this site is that it doesn’t have as many pictures as Encarta. So if you need them for a presentation, you will need to look elsewhere.
Otherwise, Infoplease has relevant up to date information on a range of topics.
Excite Encyclopedia is the only free online encyclopedia for students that boasts its deep hyperlinking. Their main selling point is that they help you do detailed research. You can look for why they’ve chosen to do this on their “About Electronica” page.
The articles are short – most fall between 400 to 600 words.
One drawback with the site is that the search results are listed alphabetically. So, for example, if you looked up Donald Trump, it is very likely that the main article won’t be the top result. It will be lower on the list. You will have to look for it.
This free online encyclopedia for students has articles from the Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Third Edition. They don’t have a lot of pictures, and the information is brief. However, they do cover a range of topics.
If you want more information, the site provides a list of related materials. You only get access to it for a fee. When we compared the free data provided with other sites, it became clear that this site had superficial and vague content.
You will have a better experience with Plex Page or Infoplease if all you want is a concise overview. Their information comes for free and is a better option for students.
That’s all we have for today. These six free online encyclopedias are great research tools for students. The main difference between them is the depth of their articles. Depending on whether you want an overview and summary or detailed information, pick between the options listed above.