Why Should I Gather Background Information?
• Gain familiarity with your topic
• Narrow your topic
• Provide historical context
• Identify experts related to the
Where Should I Look for Background Information?
Reference sources are the best place to look for background information on a topic. Reference sources are intended to be consulted for information on specific topics rather than read from beginning to end. Examples of reference sources are encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, and almanacs.
These reference sources are available through Thomas Cooper Library and can be accessed online by students, faculty, and staff at USC-Columbia. They may be useful as you learn more about your topic and plan your research strategy.