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Speech Language Pathology Doctorate

Answering Background Questions

Background questions tend to fall into two categories

  1. Informational questions that fill in general answers for someone new to a topic.
  2. Questions that help you explain why your topic is of importance, the kind of information that would appear in the "Background" section of your paper.

Answers to background questions are often found in secondary and tertiary sources, such as review articles and clinical guidelines, textbooks, and reference materials (e.g. encyclopedias, etc.). Sources for statistics (e.g. the National Center for Health Statistics) are also a common source 

Here are a few specific sources you might find helpful.

Locating Literature Reviews

Literature reviews are great places to start your search for information. They provide an overview of current research and can help you identify vocabulary for your searches.

Searching for Reviews in PubMed

1. Search for your topic. 

2. Select Review from the filters in the left sidebar. 

Searching for Reviews in CINAHL

1. Search for your topic. 

2. Look at the Refine Results column on the left and select Show More

3. Select Review in the Publications box and then Search