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High School Guest User 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.

Online Encyclopedias at UMKC

These databases are available while you are logged onto a computer at Miller Nichols Library as a guest user.

Points of View Reference Center provides essays that present multiple sides of a current issue; each topic also includes an overview, point, counterpoint, critical thinking guide, and additional sources.
CQ Researcher provides comprehensive reporting and analysis on issues in the news, specifically issues addressed by Congress.

Topic Tip: Browse

Hint: If you are having trouble selecting a topic try using the Browse by Category feature of Points of View Reference (available while you are logged in as a guest user at Miller Nichols Library).