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How can I find background information about a topic?

When getting started with your research, it is a good idea to get a general overview of a topic or gather background information. This type of information may not always be cited in your scholarly work, but it can help you gain a better understanding of a topic or theory so you can begin to narrow your focus and scope. 

Background information includes facts, definitions, origins, historical timelines, and more. 

Reference resources are the most authoritative sources for locating general or background information. Visit the Explore Background Information page to get started. 

Additional resources include the following Library FAQs:
How do I locate encyclopedias in the Library?
How do I locate biographies in the Library?
How do I find definitions of terms related to my research topic?

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