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GU-Q INAF-100-75: The Sociological Imagination in the 21st Century

What is Background Research?

Background research is:

  1. Exploring a topic with reference resources and/or introductory books. It's done to get more familiar with a topic.
  2. From background research you can learn things like:
  • important names and dates
  • names of key events and documents
  • overview of a historical narrative and/or concepts

Background research can help you begin to answer who, what, when, and where (answering why usually requires more work and thought).

Example of Background Research:

You come across the phrase Digital Divide when reading about the history of the Internet. You've never heard of this before and want to learn more about it. What do you do next?

Library Resources for Background Research

Databases

Books