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How To Handbook 44

Handbook is a type of reference work, or other collection of instructions, that is intended to provide ready reference. The term originally applied to a small or portable book containing information useful for its owner, but the Oxford English Dictionary defines the current sense as “any book…giving information such as facts on a particular subject, guidance in some art or occupation, instructions for operating a machine, or information for tourists.”

A handbook is sometimes referred to as a vade mecum (Latin, “go with me”) or pocket reference. It may also be referred to as an enchiridion, .

Handbooks may deal with any topic, and are generally compendiums of information in a particular field or about a particular technique. They are designed to be easily consulted and provide quick answers in a certain area.

For example, the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is a reference for how to cite works in MLA style, among other things.