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Research Basics: Find Background

Start With Encyclopedias & Background Information

Why is an encyclopedia article on my topic a good place to begin?

Encyclopedia articles are useful, because they:

  • Provide an overview of the topic and relevant context, including main concepts, key terms, important events, statistics, and landmark legal cases.
  • Explain controversies associated with the topic.
  • Jumpstart thinking about keywords.
  • Help to answer the question: Which aspect(s) of the topic will I write about?

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