Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


To Find An Answer, You Could Start By Looking Here

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

There is more to looking something up than Google. Scary, but true. LAist recently came across PR Week's listing of the "Top Education Reference Websites" for last week and thought we'd share. Cause we're nice, and we want you to learn stuff. You're welcome.

1) Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the master of all things reference. You want information about something, albeit sometimes basic, this is a great place to start. Be aware that for a long time, you could submit infomation about yourself or others that they then verified, but this still can make some people (especially actors) read more like a list of accomplishments and accolades than facts and history.

Support for LAist comes from


Both Dictionary and Merriam Webster have "Word of the Day" categories, which you can get by email. Dictionary also has a translation section, thesaurus, reference section, pretty much you name it.

3) Yahoo! Answers

How big is the Eiffel Tower? Do bars in Germany play NHL games? Should I be a physical therapist or a dental hygenist? I need help folding fitted bedding sheets, suggestions?

No these are not made-up questions. They are real. And apparently burning in the minds of Yahoo readers somewhere. This site is a little more whimsical, silly - but somehow things you actually might want to know about.


They call themselves the "World's Greatest Encyclodictionalmanacapedia." So for what it's worth, find all the information you could possibly desire. We like this site, because on the main page, it lists "Today's History," "Today's Birthdays," "Today in the News." This can make for great small talk, elevator banter, happy hour approaches later in the day. Trust us, a little "Did you know that..." goes a long way for keeping a conversation flowing.

5) Sparknotes

Test prep. No fear Shakespeare. Study guides. They tag themselves as having smarter, better and faster answers. This could work in any number of real life applications, not just for students. Dropping knowledge on Foucault at the future in-laws for Thanksgiving could be quite impressive, or Utilitarianism, or Kant. Obviously, you can tell we are missing our Philosophy 251 class right about now. Sigh, back to the real world.