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Law Resources at ELAC Libraries

Background research

Background research can help you:

  • narrow down a broad theme into a smaller topic
  • learn the basics of your topic
  • develop a list of keywords to use when searching for more sources
  • develop a research question and/or thesis statement

Starter databases

Starter databases:

  • simple, browseable databases meant to help students with background research
  • often contain credible reference articles, but can also have viewpoint essays
  • a good alternative or supplement to Wikipedia

Best starter databases:

Gale eBooks tutorial

Gale eBooks Tutorial

  • This database has subject-specific encyclopedia articles which provide simple topic overviews.
  • A perfect way to get to know your topic before diving deeper into scholarly research.
  • Watch the video below to learn more:

Try it out!

Opposing Viewpoints tutorial

Opposing Viewpoints Tutorial

  • This browseable database contains information on current events and controversial topics.
  • A great place to find and refine topic ideas, and read pro and con arguments.
  • Watch the video below to learn more:

Try it out!