WR 121 Exploring Your Topic

Background Information

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How to use Neutral Sources

Neutral background sources do not present original research and attempt to present information in an unopinionated way.  Because they try to present a neutral point of view, they can be a helpful tool when you are beginning to explore your topic.

So what do you do with neutral background sources in the scope of your research paper?

  • Fill in the gaps of what you didn't know about your topic
  • Find out who is talking about your topic
  • Use your background sources to track down "they say" sources
  • Put your "they say" sources in context
  • Discover new ideas for inquiry and follow up

Let's discuss a variety of neutral background sources you can use, beginning with Wikipedia.