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Finding Background Information
Library reference sources are a great place to find objective background information on your topic. They can also help you narrow your topic and discover keywords for further searching.
Start with your broad topic to identify keywords:
- Police brutality
- Implicit Bias
- Black Lives Matter
- NFL National Anthem protests/kneeling; other forms of protest related to racial issues
- Single parent homes / absent fathers
- Teenage pregnancy
- 1st Generation College Students (first in family to attend college)
- Financial aid, government aid for attending college, debt, barriers
- Public housing; public housing or housing discrimination connected with race
- Gentrification (housing and class); housing and rent prices
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from racism; race-related stress
- White privilege
- Drug laws, offenses, punishments, drug courts, sentences
- Drug addiction
- Crack epidemic of the 1980s in the U.S.
- Inner city crime and poverty
- Public school vs. private school
- School funding issues, inequity, resources
- High school graduation rates for minority students; achievement gap
- Military school
- Grit, resilience, growth mindset vs. fixed mindset
- Hip hop music
- Prison issues: privatization, safety, job corps and training programs, education, etc.
- Prison & recidivism, prison programs
- Apartheid in South Africa; racism
- Masculinity, manhood, gender roles
Online Reference Sources
To access this reference database from off campus, you will be prompted to log in with your Pipeline username and password.
Credo Reference This link opens in a new windowContains the full text of over 1,000 encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, and other reference books covering all major subject areas. Thousands of Topics Pages provide articles from different reference sources, arranged by subject. Includes “gadgets” for finding images, definitions, people, pronunciations, quotations, and measurement conversations, as well as a concept map feature for help identifying keywords and broadening or narrowing a topic. Additional features include videos, maps, and animations.
Print Reference Sources
The following reference books are located in the Luria Library reference section. Ask a librarian for help finding the best book for your topic.
- Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society -- R 305.8 S294e
- Encyclopedia of Racism in the United States -- R 305.800973 M663e
- Encyclopedia of Social Problems -- R 361.1 P261e
- African Americans and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia -- R 364.089 J76a 2014
- Addiction: A Reference Encyclopedia -- R 616.86 P125a 2010
Narrowing Your Topic
The following video provides strategies for narrowing a topic (from off campus you will need to log in using your Pipeline username and password):