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*English Subject Guide: Topic & Background Info

Background Information

HPU Libraries provides a number of general reference sources that can be a great place to go for background information, definitions, and overviews of a particular topic. Not finding what you need? Just ask a librarian! 

Credo Reference



Biographical Research

Biographical Information

The resources below are useful for finding biographical information and background historical context for many people, including authors, poets, and playwrights.

Topic Databases

Topic Databases

A topic database is a type of research database that categorizes articles and other sources into "topics" or "issues." Topic databases can help you choose a topic or brainstorm ideas related to your chosen topic.

Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford English Dictionary

If you're going to use a definition, use one from this source. The OED provides you with the history behind the words that have become part of the English language, including first usage and variants. This information can provide you with new insight into the words chosen by the author.

For more about the OED, check out this blog post by Andrew Fair.