This is the "Finding Background Information" page of the "South Pointe Christian School - Spring 2016" guide.
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South Pointe Christian School - Spring 2016  

Last Updated: Mar 8, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Finding Background Information Print Page

Step 1: Basic Search Terms from Research Question

Good reaserch question but BAD search, pick out important terms and concepts.

Discuss in detail the influences on female writers in 19th century England. Consider factors such as their families, social class, education, personal experiences, etc. How did these factors affect the writers and how is this exhibited in their writing?

Good Search Terms:

influences/factors (families, social class, education, personal experiences)  "female writers" (Specific Writers)
19th century England"



Step 2: Get Background Information


  • Overview   -   Gain a broad understanding of your topic
  • Definitions - Be an informed reader
  • Notable Names - Know the major players
  • Dates & Events - Contextualize your topic
  • Bibliographies - Fish those citations!

 General Encyclopedias

 Use Fetch to find online encyclopedia entries aka Research Starters for your search terms: Mary Shelley

  • Wikipedia:  Mary Shelley (Remember, use only for preliminary research and information from appropriate references)

Subject Specific Encyclopedias

  • Extensive;scholarly - Gain a more in-depth understanding of your topic

Step 3: Gather More Search Terms

Build a list of keywords and synonyms


influences • impact • affect

Romanticism • Victorian "19th Century" "nineteenth century"

English • British

"female authors" • "women authors" (Specific authors "Mary Shelley")

"home life" • "early life" "personal life" "private life" "social class" "social role" "gender role" 
"sex role" education

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