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Prof Julia Heffernan


Find Background Information

Background Information Sources

  • Background information sources can help you narrow down your topic.
  • They will define terms you may not be familiar with.
  • They will provide a list of references that can help you to further explore your topics.
  • The experts who wrote the entries may even provide their contact information

What Kind of Information Do You Want?

  • Popular sources – popular periodicals, news magazines, newspapers?– Use magazine /newspaper article databases
  • Scholarly sources – peer-reviewed, refereed, academic, juried -- ?- Use academic oriented databases
  • Primary Sources – first-hand evidence?– Use books, magazines, Burns Library, blogs, podcasts;  interview people
  • Secondary Sources – interpretations  ?– Use books, magazines, book reviews
  • Statistics? – Use statistical/data databases/sources



FACTIVA-- Larger scope


Finding Transcripts in Factiva

How to find TV & radio transcripts in Factiva

  1. Click on Search from the top menu bar
  2. Click on Search Builder
  3. Click on Source
  4. From the Select Source Category drop-down menu, select By Type.
  5. Click on the plus sign next to Transcripts-All, then on the plus sign next to Transcripts-Broadcast.
  6. Click on the name of a program to choose it for your search.
  7. Set date range
  8. Enter search terms

Finding Background Information Sources

Use the library system to locate good background sources.  For example a search like "Psychology" AND "Dictionary" or "Psychology" AND "Encyclopedia" will give you a listof those sources.

Here are two links to Encyclopedias and Dictionaries:





Subject Guide

Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah's picture
Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah
312 O'Neill Library
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
617 552 4465