1b. Develop Questions & Keywords1d. Find Background Information1e. Refine a Topic
2a. Find Books2b. Find Articles2c. Find Full Text2d. Find Reserves2e. Find Images2f. Find Films2g. Find Websites2h. Search Strategies
3a. Evaluate Sources3b. Primary vs. Secondary Sources3c. Types of Periodicals
4a. Paraphrasing4b. Notetaking
5a. Plagiarism5b. MLA Citation Style5c. Works Cited Examples5d. Copyright
This is the "1d. Find Background Information" page of the "Olin Library: Research Skills" guide.
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Olin Library: Research Skills   Tags: assignments, evaluating, information_literacy, learning, presentations, projects, research, skills, writing  

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2015 URL: http://library.drury.edu/research Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

1d. Find Background Information Print Page
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Sources of Background Information

Background information can be found in:

  • textbooks
  • dictionaries
  • general encyclopedias
  • subject-specific encyclopedias  
  • article databases

These sources are often listed on our subject guides.

 

Tip!

If you can't find an encyclopedia, dictionary or textbook article on your topic, try using broader keywords or ask a librarian for help.

For example, if your topic is Global Warming, consider searching for an encyclopedia on the environment.

Still need help? Contact one of our subject Librarians.

 

Purpose of Background Research

Once you have identified some key terminology, the next step is to find background information on your topic. Background research serves many purposes.

  • If you are unfamiliar with the topic, it provides a good overview of the subject matter.
  • It helps you to identify important facts related to your topic -- terminology, dates, events, history, and names or organizations.
  • It can help you to refine your topic.
  • Background research might lead you to bibliographies that you can use to find additional sources of information on your topic.
 

Subject Librarians

For Research or Liaison Help contact:

William Garvin - Director
LIB 008 - 873-7482
Business Administration and Economics, English, Language, Music

Katherine Bohnenkamper
LIB 126 - 873-7485
Education, Exercise and Sports Science

Holli Henslee
LIB 103 - 873-7483
Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science & Math, Environmental Studies, Physics, Philosophy, Religion

Phyllis Holzenberg
LIB 116 - 873-7487
Communications, History/Political Science, Library, Theater, Women’s Studies

Jaqueline Tygart
LIB 012 - 873-7496
Architecture, Art & Art History, Behavioral Sciences

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