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Find Background Info: Getting Started


Background sources can

  • Help you see the big picture and contextualize your topic
  • Give you a better idea of where to start your research
  • Provide an introduction to vocabulary and ideas you'll need to know
  • Refer you to other sources

Library Search for Background Sources


Find Quick Overviews and Definitions

  1. Use Library Search to find resources for your topic.
  2. After you search, look on the left for "Refine my results."
  3. Scroll down to "Resource Type."
  4. Click on "Show More," to see more than the first few entries.
  5. Select "Reference Entries" (if available).
  6. Then, "Apply Filters."

Refine Results by Resource Type, "Reference Entries"

Find Subject Encyclopedias and In-Depth Background Sources

  1. Go to Advanced Search
  2. Select Library Catalog
  3. Limit to the Title contains and Search for:  dictionar* OR encyclopedia* OR handbook* OR companion
  4. In the next line, type in your topic as a keyword or phrase

Search for dictionar* OR encyclopedia* OR handbook* OR companion in Title