Answered By: Woodruff Library Reference Last Updated: Jul 31, 2015 Views: 123
Doing background research will help you develop a more effective topic as well as brainstorm for better search terms -- and so write a better paper.
- First and foremost, your professors are a great resource! They understand your assignment and can provide great advice about the topic and how to frame it.
- Come to the Woodruff Library and talk to a librarian at the Library Service Desk on the 2nd floor, or get research advice from a subject-expert librarian.
- Look at Research Guides
There are numerous subject and course-specific guides available. Research guides list important resources where you can get more background or detailed information on specific topics.
- Consult Encyclopedias, Biographical Dictionaries, Almanacs, etc.
Here are a few general recommended ones:
AccessScience Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
Oxford Reference Online
|Gale Virtual Reference||
Biography in Context
Provides comprehensive background on current issues--legislative activity, historical background, current developments, and a bibliography for further research.
About using the Web for research:
Information on the "free web" can contain good information, but be sure to use criteria to carefully evaluate what you find -- and compare the information with other research resources available via the libraries at Emory University.
Wikipedia: Remember that you do not know who has written a particular Wikipedia entry. HOWEVER, be sure to scroll down and check the resources cited. These can be valuable for identifying books, articles, and other sources that can further your research.
This video will show you the best ways to use Wikipedia in research: