Background reading is an essential starting point to any research project. The purpose of background reading is to get an overview of your topic, and to begin to become acquainted with the key terms, names, and events associated with your topic.
Find and read an article in a subject-specific reference book or eReference database. The Berntsen Library collects reference books in both print and online formats. (*Note: Reference books are considered tertiary sources and are not typically referred to or cited in research papers.)
Use the eReference databases listed below to find background articles about your topic.
Remember when you are searching for a communication theory, it frequently helps to put the theory in quotes "Accommodation Theory" AND communication or other key words. Also click on subjects within a record to find more items with that subject.
Reference books are located on the main floor of the library. Come in an browse the 300's. Reference librarians can suggest great places to start your research. You can find reference and other books in library search.
*Gasp!* Why is a library guide telling you to search Wikipedia? Like other reference sources, you might want to consult Wikipedia for background reading and fact gathering, but do not cite it as a source in your paper. For this particular class, the real value of Wikipedia is the list of links at the end of the article. These links will sometimes lead you to digitized collections of primary sources on your topic as well as to online bibliographies and other resources.
Psychology – counseling
Communication – Media
Language – linguistics