ENGL 101 English Composition 1

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. 

Advanced search for books (image + link) [okay to MAP]

Advanced Searching: Books

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

Find Background Information: the 5 Ws & H

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 is it currently being addressed? How can it be changed?