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ENGL_110 (Frazier): Find Background Information

Using an Encyclopedia as a Background Source

The purpose of an encyclopedia is to provide basic information about a topic.

Within the article, you should encounter important terms, the names of notable people, and background information on the topic. This can help you establish a foundation for your research.

Where possible, use the bibliography at the end of an encyclopedia article.

Hitting a Keyword Wall?

I totally get it! Generating keywords for a research topic can be a daunting task. Where do you even start?

Luckily, California State University has created a nifty Keyword Generator tool for you to get an easy step-by-step guide on creating effective keywords that will bring you great results as you explore the library catalog and databases. 

Finding Background Information for Research: A Word Cloud

Background Information Word Cloud

Other Resources

Credo Reference

Credo Logo


Credo is a library database containing digital versions of encyclopedias and other reference works. Think of it as an academic Wikipedia, only curated by librarians instead of the general public.