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Writing 10 (Ruiz): Background Databases

Reading & Composition

Background Information

Reference sources, like dictionaries, encyclopedias, and almanacs, provide you with background information and context on a topic. These resources are useful for finding definitions, histories, timelines, biographies, lists of readings, etc.


Here is an entry I found in the Credo Reference database about "Black power" from the Encyclopedia of American Studies that seems to relate to the relationship between black women and the black power movement. 

  • "The black power movement was itself criticized for defining black liberation in masculinist terms and for its views of women and homosexuality." 
  • The references at the end point to a potentially helpful book by Michele Wallace, Black Macho and the Myth of  the Superwoman. It's a book that "criticizes sexism in the black community and black nationalism in the 1960s."


How to Use Credo Reference

Learn to conduct a basic search in Credo Reference (Credo Reference, 3:07).

How to Use Oxford Reference Online

While "[t]his video is intended for Weber State University students, faculty and staff [...] ," we've sped it up to the 45 second mark for useful information about how to search in Oxford Reference Online (Weber State University, Stewart Library, 2:19.

How to Use Wikipedia

Leverage Wikipedia to learn more about a topic and explore references (PSU Libraries, 3:18).