Textbook vs. Handbook

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Textbook and Handbook is that the Textbook is a educational book and Handbook is a type of reference work, or other collection of instructions, that is intended to provide ready reference

  • Textbook

    A textbook is a comprehensive compilation of content in a branch of study. Textbooks are produced to meet the needs of educators, usually at educational institutions. Schoolbooks are textbooks and other books used in schools. Today, many textbooks are published in both print format and digital formats.

  • Handbook

    A 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. Examples of engineering handbooks include Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook, Marks Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, and the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

  • Textbook (noun)

    A coursebook, a formal manual of instruction in a specific subject, especially one for use in schools or colleges.

  • Textbook (adjective)

    Of or pertaining to textbooks or their style, especially in being dry and pedagogical; textbooky, textbooklike.

  • Textbook (adjective)

    Having the typical characteristics of some class of phenomenon, so that it might be included as an example in a textbook.

  • Handbook (noun)

    A topically organized book of reference on a certain field of knowledge, regardless of size.


Leave a Comment