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ENGL Library Research Guide

Background Information

To find background information and context for your topics, begin with short but very informative articles in encyclopedias. They provide excellent overview of your topic.

  • Browse topics and find background information in general encyclopaedias (selected sources)

Using Wikipedia for Research 

Wikipedia can be a good place to start exploring an unfamiliar topic. However, it is not an academic source, just a place where anyone can post articles. Editorial process is minimal, and the content changes frequently.  

  • Wikipedia is helpful in a variety of ways:  
      • Entries and embedded links can be used to generate ideas and learn the terminology associated with your topic 
      • They can help generate search terms to use for searching library databases
      • Look at Bibliographies. These sources can point you to other resources 
  •  Wikipedia has some serious limitations:  

      • Avoid citing Wikipedia in academic research  
      • Do not believe everything as anybody can create and edit content to ensure credibility or accuracy