ENGL 1101: Step 2 BACKGROUND INFO
WHY BACKGROUND INFORMATION?
Reading background material about your topic saves time and frustration during the research and writing process! You will have more knowledge and more focus to keep you going in the right direction.
Background information is especially important if you are not familiar with the subject you are researching, or have not decided on which aspect you want to focus. Find a source of information, like an encyclopedia with:
a brief overview of the topic;
definitions of terms and jargon in the field;
key names, events, and terms related to the topic
an introductory, select bibliography (i.e., list of suggested sources by scholars or experts in the field).
All of this will help you to get your head wrapped around the topic and will help you to find information in the library catalog, article databases, and other sources.