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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Guide to the OED: Home


This guide is to help LING 210 students learn about the Oxford English Dictionary. Here you will find:

1. How to Search: a basic guide in how to conduct searches in the Oxford English Dictionary Online.

2. How to Read an OED Online Entry: once you've found the entry you're looking for, how to interpret what you're seeing.

3. Tips on Advanced Searching: constructing more complex queries and searching within entries.

4. Other Library Basics: basic tips for database searching and research.

If you have questions about this guide or your research, please contact Harriett Green, the English and Digital Humanities Librarian, at or 217-333-4942.

Please, Ask a Librarian!

Don't hesitate to ask if you need help!  Whether you're trying to narrow down your topic, you're having trouble searching through an electronic database, or you're looking for one specific thing, just contact Harriett Green. 

She can be reached by email at green19 [at], by phone 217-333-4942, or visit her office in 200 South Main Library.  For more information about library resources and help, visit the Literatures and Languages Library's website.

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Literatures and Languages Library
225 Main Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-2220