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ENGL 150: American Short Story Since 1900

Why Background Research?

You may have a lot of familiarity with your short story already, but in most cases, research involves learning about something you have some interest in--but not a whole lot of background knowledge. These sources can help you catch up. 

What are the big ideas people are talking about with respect to your topic? What are the emerging issues that have yet to be solved? Who are the key players? These are all questions that, once answered, can help you focus your topic down to a manageable scope and give you the vocabulary necessary to find and fully comprehend the wealth of research contained in the W&M Libraries databases.

Here are some resources that can help you build up your background knowledge:


These general research tools (like encyclopedias) provide a birds-eye view of various topics.


Liz Bellamy

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Liz Bellamy
Swem Library, Room 127