Why should you search for background information?
The 4 Ws
Guide yourself through your Background Research by answering the following four questions:
Who are the people or groups relevant to your topic? This can include companies or even fictional characters!
Example: If you're writing about video games, this might include gamers, game designers, Hideo Kojima, Blizzard, or even Nathan Drake.
What are the major events, laws, controversies, or issues related to your topic?
Example: If you're researching health care reform, this might include The Affordable Care Act, generic drug prices, or access to care.
When have major events happened to affect your topic? This can include dates, eras, or even age ranges relevant to your topic.
Example: If you're learning about school uniforms, this might include 1963, the early 2000s, or teenagers.
Where are the places most affected by your topic? Which countries, regions, or states? Does your topic affect urban or rural regions more?
Example: If you're researching the minimum wage, this might include New York City, California, the Pacific North West, or urban centers.
If you need some help getting started...
This video tutorial developed by Sage link will open in a new window, the creators of CQ Researcher, will help you learn the basics of using this resource to conduct Background Research.