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Research Guides

Get the backstory

Research the backstory and learn all that you can about your subject (person, event, thing, etc.).

Backstory is the events or history that has led to this moment in time.

Depending on your deadline, you can find background info in many places:

  • News stories

  • Expert/Author websites

  • Government & Organization websites

  • Government publications

  • Journal articles

  • Books

  • Documentary Films

 Don't forget to evaluate the information that you find.  Consider Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

Find Background Info

Encyclopedias and other reference works provide background information and can be used to identify key people, events, and dates which can then be used as search terms for finding additional information.  These collections include e-encyclopedias covering many different subjects.  Search them to find an encyclopedia or other reference source related to your topic.  Search UW WorldCat to find additional ones.  Try searches like:

  • journalism AND encyclopedia
  • vietnam AND encyclopedia