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Getting Started With Your Paper / Project

Tips from UMSL's Reference Librarians on researching papers and projects.

Find Background Information

Background Informationbooks education shelf reading

You can use a variety of types of reference sources to help you define unknown terms, place the issue in historical context, learn about the major people involved, and more.  You may or may not put all the information you find in your final paper.

Sources you may want to use:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Dictionaries
  • Biographies
  • Maps/atlases

Use the resources linked below or browse for print reference texts on Level 3 of the Thomas Jefferson library.  You can also often find some reference texts linked on the library's online subject guides.