LOCATING BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Look up your keywords in the indexes to subject
encyclopedias. Read articles in these encyclopedias to set the context
for your research. Take note of relevant items in the bibliographies or
"for further reading" sections at the end of the encyclopedia
articles. These can lead to further information on your topic. Additional
background information may be found in lecture notes, textbooks, reserve
readings and authoritative web sites. Develop
your search skills and practice often!
project of the Independent Media Institute,
a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting independent
and alternative journalism
premier web encyclopedia available for Oakton users
links to encyclopedias on a wide variety of
award-winning web site of thousands of articles
on how things work "from the inside out"
online dictionary, atlas, almanac and internet
Internet Public Library
created by a team of librarians, this award-winning
web site was one of the first subject directories on the web
Internet Scout Report
one of the Internet's
longest running weeklies offering
new & newly discovered resources
Public Agenda Online
nonpartisan, nonprofit public opinion research
& citizen education organization based in New York city
File:U.S. Dept. of State
official texts of US government, policy statements,
interpretive material, features and by-line articles prepared daily
and subject specific encyclopedias
in the reference collection.
Full text Magazine,
Journal and Newspaper Articles
articles in a newspaper or general magazine can also give you a starting
point for your research. Use an online periodical index such as Expanded
to locate background information in full text magazine and journal articles.
Exploit bibliographies! Remember that many of the books and articles you
find will have bibliographies or a "works cited" page, too.
By routinely checking these sources for additional relevant resources,
you can generate a surprisingly large number of books and articles in
a relatively short time.
Finding background information about a topic is an important step of the
research process. If you're interested in pursuing a topic which is unfamiliar
to you, reading an encyclopedia or general article about the subject can
help you to clarify your topic and point out areas for additional research.