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Research Process

Introduction for Background Info

Background Information


Finding background information is an important part of the Research Process!

Why do background research?

Why do background research?

  • Searching for background information helps you better understand and familiarize yourself with your chosen topic.

  • It can help you identify important facts about your topic.

  • You can find information that can help you refine your research topic and create a research question that you can use to develop your thesis statement.

  • Background research can help you find key search terms and/or phrases that you can use to find scholarly sources later on.

Here are some databases to help you get started!

Credo Reference

Credo Reference

Your research starter guide! 3 million entries from notable subject encyclopedias, handbooks, guides, companions and readers covering over 80 major subject disciplines and more than 6 million research concepts


JSTOR Text Analyzer

JSTOR is an online library of journals, academic ebooks, and primary sources. The Text Analyzer is a new way to search JSTOR: upload your own text or document, Text Analyzer processes the text to find the most significant topics and then recommends similar content on JSTOR. 

Literary Reference Center

Provides a broad spectrum of research info on thousands of authors and their works. More than 36,000 plot summaries, synopses, and work overviews. More than 250,000 author bios. More than 7,400 classic novels. More than 460 literary journals. 

Literature Resources

Gale Literary Sources

Gale Literary Sources brings together all of Gale's literary databases into one seamlessly cross-searchable research and study environment. Whether you're researching authors and their works, literary movements or genres, or trying to find book reviews of bestsellers, you can search across all of your library's Gale literary databases to find full text of literary works, journal articles, literature criticism and analysis, reviews, author biographies, and a rich collection of expertly written work overviews.

Wikipedia How-To Video

Wikipedia How-To Video!

From: clipinfolit

Tips for background research

Where can you find background information?


Reference sources are useful research tools that you can use to help you find authoritative, background information.


Important note on background information


Information you find during this part of the research process is meant to help you identify key search terms that can help you search for scholarly sources. 

Credit for Page

This page was created by Magen Nosworthy (Fall 2018 ENGL 489)