Skip to Main Content

Introduction to Research: Find Background Information

Find Background Information

Find Background Information

When starting a new research project, figuring out where to begin and how to narrow down your topic can be difficult. It is helpful to start by looking for background information on your topic. Even if your topic is still broad, try looking for background information by searching in online encyclopedias or by doing a general Google search. Use these sources to find subtopics and relevant vocabulary associated with your topic. This new vocabulary will help you with your keyword searches. 

Typically, you will not cite encyclopedias in an academic project. Encyclopedias can be helpful for sparking ideas and finding important concepts that you will then find more information on in academic sources, such as peer-reviewed journal articles and books written by scholars. 

Here are some examples of online reference sources to help you find background information on your research topic: