Skip to Main Content UMKC University Libraries

HSCP Guide to Library Resources

How to Use Background Information

Why start your research with a specialized encyclopedia?

  • Encyclopedia articles can help you select your research subject.
  • Encyclopedia articles are an excellent way to initially become aquantied with a topic because they are short; subject experts have condensed the information down to one to two pages typically.
  • Because it's the easiest way to get good search terms; encyclopedia articles mention and define keywords that you can use in your research.
  • Encyclopedias articles guide you to high-quality resources; use the works cited at the end of the article to expand your number of sources.
  • Starting your research with an encyclopedia will save time.
CQ Researcher provides comprehensive reporting and analysis on issues in the news, specifically issues addressed by Congress.