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PSYC 395: Community Internship

Psychology Librarian

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Max Sparkman
Fraser Hall 203A
(585) 245-5593

Starting Out

Information Needs

This book chapter discusses five "information needs" you may come across while writing your paper:

  1. To learn background information
  2. To answer your research question
  3. To convince your audience
  4. To describe the situation
  5. To report on what others have said

Identifying which need you are trying to fill can help you decide what types of sources to look for - and where to look for them.

Background Research

Here are a few resources you can use to gather background information on your field or topic. While these might not be sources you can use for your literature review, they can help you get a better sense of issues and topics of interest in your field so you know what to search for later on.

Use background research to help identify

  • Fundamental or current issues in your field
  • Experts and scholars in your field
  • Questions you have about your field


Magazines and Trade Journals:

Government, Nonprofit, and Organizational Websites: