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ENC 1102 - Marcus (Dale Mabry): Background info

Links and tips for your research.

Reference sources have background info

reference books on a shelf

Reference resources - such as encyclopedias and dictionaries - can provide background info on your topic. Reading encyclopedias can also give you search terms to use in the library catalog and databases.

Find hard copy reference books in the library, and online reference resources right here on this page.

Online reference databases

You can also find reference content online by using PRIMO

You can find online background or reference information—such as encyclopedia articles—by using the library's main general search engine, PRIMO.

When searching for online reference content, it's often best to start with a broad, general term. Here is an example search in PRIMO of the term, juvenile arthritis

Here is the same search narrowed down to encyclopedia articles by using the Filter menu option, Resource Type: Reference Entries.

But what about Wikipedia?

Wikipedia can give you quick background for your own knowledge and help you orient yourself to a topic if you know nothing about it

You may get ideas for search terms and key words to use in library tools.

While in most cases professors will not accept a Wikipedia entry as a cited source, the links at the end of it (pointing to sources that editors used) may lead you to citable sources.