Skip to main content
University of Oregon
UO Libraries

BA 308: Leadership & Communication - Nuetzman

4 Places to Find Quick Facts (Infographic)

If you're not sure where to start with a research project, but have a topic in mind, you can start with these suggestions to get ideas:

4 Places to Find Quick Facts

Long Description of "4 Places to Find Quick Facts" for Web Accessibility

Background Info/Reference Databases - General Subjects

Before you start any research on your topic, you must develop some background knowledge including facts, dates, and names of important people, places, or theories. Books and websites can provide you with that knowledge.

This is important because:

  1. Background sources give you the language that people are using to discuss your topic. You will use this language (look for keywords!) when you start to search databases for scholarly articles and resources on the topic.
  2. This "pre-research" gives you a sense if your topic is focused enough. If your initial searches bring back so many results you can't even figure out what the language is, then you should consider narrowing your topic.

Remember, background information is always a starting point for research, not an ending point.

Library Reference Subscription Databases
Open Web (Free) Resources

Need Help?

Chat Email Phone Text

Step 2 - Finding Background Information

Tree icon from Noun ProjectLike the roots of a tree, background information is not always visible but it does play an important role in your research.

Starting research often means finding an overview of a topic, checking facts and data, checking dates of significant events, or looking up definitions of specialized terms. Reference books can give background information, including the scope of the topic area, noteworthy people, and statistics to help jumpstart your research.

University of Oregon Libraries
1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR
97403-1299
T: (541) 346-3053
F: (541) 346-3485
Make a Gift