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Ready, Set, Research: Background Information

A guide prepared for the Success Center Workshop.

Why background Information?

Finding basic information about your topic helps you to understand the broader context of your research.  This is particularly important at the beginning of your research if you are unfarmliar with your topic or uncertain how to narrow the focus of the subject.

Background information can supply: 

  1. Broad overview
  2. Main concepts
  3. Major dates and events
  4. Definitions of terms associated with the topic
  5. Names of people who are authorities in the subject field
  6. Keywords and subject-specific vocabulary terms that can be used for database searches
  7. Bibliographies that lead to additional resources

 

Types of resouces for background information :  Encyclopedias, Guides, Handbooks, Manuals, etc.  

Tutorials

Opposing Viewpoint in Context

Credo Reference

Search

Gale Reference

Online access to a collection of online reference materials covering a variety of subjects.  (Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Handbooks, Guides, etc.)

CQ Researcher

Your number one source for original, comprehensive reporting and analysis on issues shaping our world.