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Sherry: Background Information

About This Guide

When writing a paper where you need to take a position on a "pro-con" issue, you will need to gather information to support your side of the argument. The resources listed in this course guide will lead you to: books; chapters in books; articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers; statistics; and public opinion polls.

Why use reference books?

Reference resources can be useful for gathering background information on a topic.  They can help you understand a topic you may not be familiar with, they can help you focus your research to a particular aspect of that topic, and the reference lists at the ends of encyclopedic articles can lead you to further sources of information.

A subject-specific encyclopedia (or encyclopedic set) is a single (or multi-volume) reference work that provides background information on a more specialized discipline.