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Composition: Background Research

Resources for Composition I and Composition II courses

Why Conduct Background Research?

When we conduct background research, we are looking for explainers or overviews:

  • To gain familiarity with your topic.
  • To narrow your topic by finding specific aspects on which to focus.
  • To provide historical and social context.
  • To identify experts related to the topic.

Background Research Tips

Subject-Specific Scholarly eBook Articles

Tools with Research Starters, Topic Guides, Overviews, and Explainers

These library search tools (databases) provide research starters, topic guides, overviews, and explainers for some topics. If one doesn't have an explainer, try another!


General Encyclopedias


Literary Reference Sources