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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Research Process: A Step-By-Step Guide: 1d. Find Background Information

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 the Books & E-Books tab of our subject guides.

 

Purpose of Background Research

Once you have 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 bibliographies which provide additional sources of information.