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ENC 1101 (Morehead): Background Research

Overview

The best topics are the the ones that you are personally interested in learning more about or would like to share with your reader. Many people select a topic that relates to their personal/family/friend's lives, college education, economic experience, personal environment (local community/county/state), culture, or more.

What is a Database?

A library database:

  • a collection of information, usually articles
  • a subscription service, which means you have to login to use it
  • contains information that is not free on the web
  • searchable
  • uses searching language: keywords and subject headings
  • included articles have been chosen
  • included articles have subject headings

Databases for Topic Selection

The library databases below will provide topic ideas through pro and con arguments or viewpoint articles on controversial issues.

Opposing Viewpoints has a particularly large number of potential topics: click the Browse All Topics button to see them all.

Additionally, the library databases below provides background information which is part of the preliminary research phase. Some of the sources you find may provide historical background on key terms, people, or events. You can use these concepts to do more in depth research.

Remember that background or viewpoint articles cannot be used as a source for the upcoming paper.