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Purpose of Background Information

Once you have developed some research questions and identified some keywords, the next step is to find background information on your topic. Background research:

  • Provides a good overview of the topic if you are unfamiliar with it.
  • Helps identify important facts -- terminology, dates, events, history, organizations, etc.
  • Can help refine your topic.
  • Leads to additional sources of information.

Sources of Background Information

Background information can be found in:

  • Textbooks
  • General encyclopedias
  • Subject-specific encyclopedias  
  • Article databases
  • Wikipedia (Yes, Wikipedia. While it is not considered a scholarly resource, it is good for background information. Just proceed with caution as anyone can post to it.)
  • Subject-specific research guides

Almost all of these are found online. Better yet, most are found within this very website.

Research Guides!

Created by the library to help you find the best info, Research Guides are web pages that link to useful resources such as scholarly articles, books, government documents, websites, blogs, videos, and more.

 

They cover specific subject disciplines, courses, hot topics, library resources, events, and much more.

Ms. Cidney Mayes | Memorial Middle School | 120 Wescott Road | South Portland, Maine | 04106 | Tel: 207-773-5629