Why read background information?

Reading background information helps fill in knowledge gaps. Virtually everyone, even experts, can benefit from reading authoritative summaries of the historic background, current developments, major players, and primary issues of a chosen topic. These summaries often include basic bibliographies that help to jump start research projects.

Major sources of authoritative summaries are subject dictionaries and encyclopedias. Other background information may be obtained from biographical and statistical sources and other reference works such as handbooks and directories.

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Global Statistics