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Wartburg College - 100 Wartburg Blvd. - Waverly, IA 50677

IS 101: Introductory Research Tips and Review: How To's...

Text-and-image research tips for introduction AND review.

Why Use Background/Overview/Reference Sources?

When you want... Use... And know that...
A brief historical perspective, a summary, or an overview of a topic--plus keywords, subtopics, and further reading.

An overview source (also called reference or background--most likely an encyclopedia, but could also be a book introduction or webpage)

The summary will flex based on the kind of encyclopedia (general or specific). Encyclopedia "articles" are not the same as news or journal "articles."


Overivew/Background Information Searching Tips

Overview (Encyclopedias, reference, background, getting start):

In Print: Reference section 1st floor


1. Click "Databases A-Z." Choose a database to serve your purpose:

  • Encyclopedia Britannica: general information on almost anything
  • Credo Reference: search hundreds of encyclopedias at once
  • Oxford Reference: search hundreds of encyclopedias at once
  • CQ Researcher: in-depth overview of controversial topics