This is the "Background Info" page of the "Evaluating Sources" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Evaluating Sources  

What makes books, articles, and other sources useful and how to evaluate them.
Last Updated: Sep 20, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Background Info Print Page

Your Research Plan

  1. Choose a Topic
  2. Find Background Information
    • General encyclopedias
    • Subject-specific encyclopedias
    • Handbooks
    • Textbooks
    • Reliable web sources
  3. Find Articles, Books, Web Sites
  4. Evaluate Your Sources
  5. Write Your Paper & Cite Sources

Why Background Information?

Background information is the foundation upon which you build good research.

Reading background information allows you to quickly learn more about a subject and help you make informed decisions about how to approach your research and select reliable sources.

Background reading will help you:

  • Identify key concepts, names, events, authors, terms, etc. associated with your topic.
  • Determine whether your topic is too narrow or too broad.
  • Figure out if there is concensus or controversy surrounding your topic.
  • Understand the historical context and relationships to other topics.
  • Find potential articles & books in bibliographies.

    Encyclopedias & Dictionaries


    Find a brief definition or overview of your topic using the Library's online dictionaries and encyclopedias.



    Controversial Issues

    Raynor Memorial Libraries | 1355 W Wisconsin Avenue | Milwaukee WI 53233 | (414) 288-7556 Info Desk
    © 2013 Marquette University


    Loading  Loading...