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Earth and Ocean Sciences: Background Information

A guide to the Earth and Ocean Science resources from the University of South Carolina-Columbia's Thomas Cooper Library.

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Finding Background Information

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.

Background Information Sources

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.