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SPC 1608 (Paradise): Finding Background Information

A guide to help students complete library research in Professor Paradise's speech class.

Accessing the Library's Resources

Finding Background Information in Subject Encyclopedias

Online subject encyclopedias are a good way to find background information and become more familiar with your topic. You can use the table of contents to find related chapters on your topic. To search subject encyclopedias, click on the "Resource Type" drop-down menu after searching for your topic. Choose "Reference Entries." You may also see a box at the top of the page called "About the Topic." This box does not appear for every topic but it is another good way to find background information on your topic. 



Finding background information on your topic can be extremely helpful. It can help you understand the topic better or give you ways to narrow or focus your topic. This focusing or narrowing of your topic will come in handy when researching the library databases. It can also provide you with keywords or alternate terms that you can use when doing research. The information in the database comes from online reference sources like subject encyclopedias. 

View the video below to see how to search the catalog for online subject encyclopedias.