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SPE 107 - Kate Harris - Summer 2022

What do you know about your topic?

Multi-colored word cloud in the shape of a question mark

Background information ... what do you know about your topic?

When you start a research project, you need to get a sense of what’s already been said (or written) about your topic. We call this kind of overview background information

Examples of background information that can help kickstart your research include basic facts, key words, history, leading issues, descriptions, and concepts. 

Think of background information as a research building block or foundation. Background information can help you locate suitable keywords for searching databases and identify more specific areas of your topic that you may want to research further.

Oakton Library explains background information

Length: 3:39

Recommended background information databases

Background Information about your topic

Look up your topic in Credo Reference

Credo Logo

Credo is an easy-to-use tool for starting research. Use this box to search hundreds of full-text reference titles, as well as 500,000+ images and audio files and over 1,000 videos. Watch the video below for search tips and features.

Credo basic search video
3:07. Locations of some search features have changed

Length: 2:53
Prefer demonstrations? View this brief video for practical details about searching the Opposing Viewpoints database.

Length: 2:28
Prefer demonstrations? View this brief video for practical details about searching CQ Researcher.