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Research & Citing: Explore

Why read background information?

Reading background or introductary information gives you an overview of your topic, and might outline the main issues. Also, many encyclopedia and other introductory sources include bibliographies. A bibliography is a list of sources the author used. A bibliography, or notes, or works cited page is an instant "shopping list" for other articles relevant to your topic.

Here is an example of an additional reading list from a Britannica online article.

Good places to start

Encyclopedia Britannica online

Two great databases for exploring topics are:

Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context, provides information on important current news events. This database can help with writing a critical essay, researching a report or term paper, or preparing for a speech. 

Gale Science in Context provides contextual information on hundreds of today's most significant science topics--showing how scientific disciplines relate to real-world issues, from weather patterns to obesity.


The library also has a great series called Oxford Very Short Introductions. Athens campus has them in print on a carousel near the new books shelf. We also have themn online. Each book includes a "further reading" section, which points you in the direction of other sources. 

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