Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Lakeland Community College Library | 7700 Clocktower Dr. Kirtland, OH, 44094 | 440-525-7425 | myLakeland
Find Background Information
Finding background information is an essential part of the research process because it helps you develop a solid foundation of knowledge on which to base your research. It provides a good overview of the subject matter and can help to familiarize you with important terminology, dates, events, names, and organizations that are related to your topic. In addition, your background research can help you to understand and further define your topic.
What Type of Source Will Best Meet Your Information Need?
Oxford English Dictionary Online
The accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is a guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cook books.
Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
Provides over 25,000 encyclopedic entries. It is searchable by subject or keyword.
Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)
A collection of reference e-books covering a wide range of topics.
A collection of electronic reference books including dictionaries and encyclopedias, covers a broad range of topics ranging from short-entry, general reference to more in-depth articles on specialized subjects. A good place to start your research.
Lakeland Library Catalog
Check individual Research Guides related to your topic for recommended reference sources. In addition, you can use the search box below to find subject-specific reference materials in the the Lakeland catalog by doing a search for your subject and dictionary or encyclopedia (for example: religion and encyclopedia).
Current Events Databases
Reports written by experienced journalists, footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Graphics, photos and short "sidebar" features round out the reports. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide a solid introduction to subjects most in demand by students.
Points of View Reference Center
Designed to assist researchers in understanding the full scope of controversial subjects. Students can use the database as a guide to debating, developing arguments, writing position papers, and developing critical thinking skills.