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Getting Started with Research: Find background and news articles

Background information

When you first begin searching for a topic you might need to read some background information. Reference books, like encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries, can help you understand the context of the topic, and find key words for your searches. Newspapers and news magazines can provide current or historical context on a topic as well.  Another place for background information might be professional organization websites, like the American Sociological Society Topics or American Psychological Association Topics pages, or the Learn & Teach or Stay Informed pages at the American Anthropological Association website.  If you need help finding a relevant professional organization to search, ask your professor or a librarian. 

Limiting to news sources for background on a topic

Newspapers and news magazines can be a good source of background information, which can provide context when you are analyzing psychology and sociology topics. To limit to news or magazine sources, look for and select these choices in database search results:


How to search within a particular publication

Sometimes your assignment suggests particular newspapers, magazines, or journals to search in. This video shows you how to do a search within a particular publication. 

Searching for a particular article

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