In a nutshell: A compilation of definitions or other information on a certain topic, arranged from A to Z or in some other logical form.
The Encyclopedic Approach to structuring a health book is the simplest format of all. It simply marches through a discussion of items pertinent to the main topic, sometimes literally from A to Z. The Encyclopedic Approach is best suited for presenting ideas/items that can be broken down into sub-parts or items, each of which can stand alone. It is not designed to be read from start to finish: readers can simply flip to the chapters that interest them most and ignore the rest.
Chapter 1 presents the overarching concept for the book, and Chapter 2 usually offers background information. The chapters to follow present various sub-parts or items, one at a time, usually in alphabetical order. At the end there may be a wrap-up chapter.
The Encyclopedic Approach is put to good use in the health book Alternative Cures
That Really Work. Chapter 1 gives an overview of the subject matter and Chapter 2 explains how to understand medical studies. The next 23 chapters lay out effective alternative approaches to various diseases/conditions, with each chapter dedicated to one malady such as Alzheimer’s disease. The chapters are arranged alphabetically according to disease/condition. Readers will most likely read Chapters 1 and 2, then skip to the chapters that interest them most.
See “7 Ways to Structure Your Health Book” to learn 6 more ways to format a health book.