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Literary Studies

Further Info

Questions commonly answered with background sources include:

  • "What is aestheticism?"
  • "Where can I find more information on Nathaniel Hawthorne?" 
  • "When was the Victorian Period?"

Background sources should be used as a starting point for your research, particularly if you're new to a topic. Be sure to analyze all chosen sources for subject authority and relevancy, as not all sources are equal in their usefulness to your research. If you are ever unsure about a source, ask your librarian! 

Why use dictionaries and/or encyclopedias?

Background sources such as, but not limited to, dictionaries and encyclopedias provide context for your topic or even help you choose one. Researchers use them when they need:

  • A brief overview of a topic
  • Definitions of terminology
  • Important issues, figures, dates, and/or events for a topic
  • Sources for further research in the form of bibliographies

Suggested Resources

Research & Instruction Librarians

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