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How to Write a Research Paper

Once you have identified keywords, the next step is to find background information on your topic.

Background information serves many purposes:

  • If you are unfamiliar with the topic, it provides a good overview of the subject matter.
  • It helps you to identify important facts related to your topic such as terminology, dates, events, history, and relevant names or organizations.
  • It can help you refine your topic.
  • Background research might lead you to bibliographies that you can use to find additional sources of information.

Background information can be found in:info icon

  • textbooks
  • dictionaries
  • general encyclopedias
  • subject-specific encyclopedias  
  • article databases
  • GALILEO