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Getting Started with Pre-Research

Why Conduct Background Research?

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

  • To gain familiarity with your topic.
  • To determine if your topic is searchable
    • not enough results? broaden your search.
    • too many results? narrow your search.
  • To provide historical and social context.
  • To identify experts related to the topic.
  • To learn additional keywords.
    • look for synonyms or additional terms related to your topic.
  • To find a starting point for your research. 

Library Search Tools Like Wikipedia

Beginning Research with Wikipedia & Google

Watch this short video to learn about beginning your research with search tools you already know - Google and Wikipedia. Never cite Wikipedia in an academic paper, but use it for pre-research and background information to get familiar with your topic. 

Click the image below to complete the Background Research Tips Tutorial to learn more about conducting background research. 

Screenshot of background research tips tutorial.