Background information can help you prepare for further research by explaining all the issues related to your topic, especially when you're investigating a field that's unfamiliar to you. Tips:
- Check for background information in: dictionaries, handbooks and encyclopedias.
- Look for facts in: statistical guides, almanacs, biographical sources, or handbooks.
- Collect keywords or important terms, concepts and author names to use when searching databases.
- Start thinking in broad terms, then narrow down your topic.
- Look at bibliographies to guide you to other sources of information (books, articles, etc.)