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Government Documents

Using government documents--a guide

About Background Information Resources

Finding background information at the beginning of your research is important if you are not an expert in the subject area or not sure from what angle to approach your topic.  Background information can provide:

  • A broad overview of the subject
  • Definitions of the topic
  • Introduction to key issues
  • Names of people who are authorities in the subject field
  • Major dates and events
  • Keywords and subject-specific vocabulary terms that can be used for database searches
  • Bibliographies that lead to additional resources

Spend a little time searching in the resources on this page and you'll be better prepared to find pertinent scholarly articles and write a convincing argument. 

Core reference resources

These online "quick reference" resources are useful for assistance with fact checking, spelling and grammar, and background information on various topics. For in-depth and specialty resources, periodical indexes, and academic journals, please search our library catalog for our print collection, and our research databases for a broad range of scholarly and popular sources.