ENGL 101 English Composition 1 (Ho)

Reference Databases

Finding Background Information

Find Background Information on your topic in library reference (academic encyclopedias) databases.

An Example from Gale Ebooks

Social Issues in America is a great resource for this project! Articles range from ageism to domestic surveillance to voting and xenophobia. Articles are 7 or 8 pages long. Each provides an overview of the issue, a chronology, statistics, and more.  

Need statistics or in-depth content?

Another great reference source for background information is the Information Plus Reference Series. The topic range is extensive, from Animal Rights to Water: a Global Perspective. 

One Search: Advanced Search

Advanced Searching: Books

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Search page in primo, highlighting how to limit to just books

Asking the right questions

Asking the Right Questions

Find background information on your current topics in library databases. When searching, be sure to ask yourself these questions!

Who: Who does this impact? Who is involved?

What: What are the key issues? 

When: When is this an issue? What is its history? 

Where: Where is this an issue?

Why: Why is this occurring? Why does it matter?

How: How can it be changed?