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Research Help: Background Research

Background Research

Worksheet discussed in this video can be found in the box below.

Worksheet on Defining a Research Problem


Why is background research important?

  • Learn more about a topic and its subtopics (use later for developing and narrowing a research topic)
  • Learn the specific vocabulary of a topic (use later as KEYWORDS in database searching)
  • Learn what kinds and how many sources are available on a topic (use later for broadening or narrowing a research question)


  • Wikipedia
  • Google
  • Discovery (the search box on the library homepage)
  • Academic Search Complete (general database)

These sources may inform you but may not ever make it into your final paper (and that is OK!).   Instead, use these to lead you to other more credible sources.   However, you must cite any source you do use!

Keyword Worksheet