General Research: Background

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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 consensus or controversy surrounding your topic.
  • Understand the historical context and relationships to other topics.
  • Find potential articles & books in bibliographies.


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