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Current Topics with Tutorials: Background Research

Background Research

Background research helps you learn more about your topic.

Topic Exploration Databases

These databases are a good place to start, especially if you are not familiar with all the pros and cons about your issue or are trying to focus your topic. 

General Databases

Finding your topic in these databases can give you background information and additional search terms.

Controversial Issues Databases

Good for Pro/Con and argumentative research, these can help you refine your topic and identify some pros and cons.

Background Research Exercise: Focusing your topic

1. Use Gale ebooks or another source to do background research on your topic. 

Tip; If you're off campus, you'll need to enter your GSU username and password to access the database.

2. Next, use what you've learned to jot down ideas for your speech or paper.

3.. Are some aspects of the topic starting to sound more interesting than others? If so, good! That's the idea! Try writing the main point or question you will answer in your speech or paper.

4. List several ideas that you will use to make your points and to address counterpoints. These will be the topics you focus on in the rest of your research. (And you can change them as you learn more!)

GALE Ebooks for background research

GALE Ebooks is a good database for background research for many topics.
Watch the video below to find out how to use GALE Ebooks.



Pro Tip for later: Your Thesis Statement

Before you finalize your thesis statement, read all of your resources then try writing your main impressions from memory or telling someone what you've discovered in your research. You may find your main ideas become clearer in a low-pressure setting.