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SCI 100- Science: First Year Seminar- Davis: Step 2: Identifying and Using Background (Secondary) Sources

Step 2a: Watch This Video!

Step 2b: Using Popular or Background (Secondary) Sources

Background information is not just for the humanities. Science relies on background information sources for help in:

  • understanding basic and advanced concepts in disciplines outside a researcher's area of expertise

  • defining unfamiliar terms

  • placing scientific concepts, ideas and events in historical or cultural context

  • integrating new research results into a discipline's knowledge continuum

For the undergraduate science student, background information can also assist you in making informed decisions about which topics to pursue in your papers and to write solid thesis statements. Find quality background information in a wide range of sources, such as: 

  • Background and E-reference databases (HACC Library)

  • Books

  • Government Agencies

  • Newspapers

  • Documentary Films

Step 2c: Informed Scientist Assignment

Every discipline has related areas of knowledge which are of critical importance to all practitioners. What areas do you expect to need to be conversant in for your future field? 

1. Using the background databases below, explore current and past issues in the discipline you plan to enter. Settle on 3 specific topics people in that discipline would be interested in. Then go to the course's Discussions list.

2. In the Informed Scientist discussion topic:
   Post a new thread stating a career field you hope to enter and the 3 topics (1 point). Let us know which of the 3 you find most interesting and why (2 points).

3. Read your classmates' posts and respond to 2 posts (2 points), discussing any interesting elements such as career choice, most intriguing topic, suggesting a different topic, etc. Get to know a little more about your classmates goals and interests by having a conversation.

Background (Secondary) and E-Reference Databases for the Sciences