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What is a background source?
Background sources are written for a general audience and are intended to give an overview of a topic, fill gaps in the reader’s knowledge, and provide context for deeper understanding. Examples include Wikipedia, introductory textbooks, and reference works such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks. They can be a useful place to start your research and can assist in selecting a topic for a research project, locating basic information and key facts, defining important words and concepts, and getting suggestions for additional sources to consult.
Typical characteristics of background sources:
- intended to be informative
- provide context, background, or summary information
- present shared information and established facts; information is uncontested
- offer suggestions for additional sources of information on the topic
Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology by
Publication Date: 2009-12-04
Written by leading scholars in the field, this comprehensive and readable resource gives anthropology students a unique guide to the ideas, arguments and history of the discipline.
Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life
Publication Date: 2017
Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures And Daily Life, 3rd Edition, covers cultural groups in Asia and Oceania, Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Five volumes, organized for quick reference by continent, cover history, politics, customs, religion, education, human rights issues, rites of passage, and much more for culture groups such as Kurds, Amish, Germans and more than 530 others.
The Encyclopedia of World Cultures by
Publication Date: 2002
This reference set lists and describes more than 1,500 global cultures. Based on research of social scientists, it is the source for historical, social, political, economic, linguistic, religious, and other information on virtually every existing culture.
Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East, 2-Volume Set by
Publication Date: 2009-06-01
This resource includes about 1,400 entries on the major peoples that have maintained a cultural identity in the area - from ancient to modern times - summarizing their history, migration, culture, belief system, social organization, and relationship to other peoples.
Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania by
Publication Date: 2008-12-01
An A-to-Z reference to the peoples of the Asia-Pacific region east of the Caspian Sea, not including the countries of the Middle East. More than 400 entries cover the major peoples that maintained a cultural identity in the area, describing their history, migration, culture, belief system, social organization, and relationship to other peoples.