Doing background research is a great way to get familiar with a topic, learn more about it, and help to generate keywords for your searching. Reference resources, like encyclopedias, bibliographies, handbooks, and dictionaries are good to use for background research. You can also use Wikipedia!
Check with your instructor to see if reference resources are allowed to be used as cited sources in your assignment. Even if they don't count as sources you can include, you can still use them to get familiar with your topic.
Searching for information relies heavily on the use of search terms, or keywords. Being able to translate your topic into meaningful search terms can be the difference between quickly finding information, or having a long and frustrating search for relevant articles.
Here are some ways to generate keywords:
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