Gathering background information, getting a general overview, and building context for your topic are some of the first steps to doing research. You may also pick up related terms, concepts, and synonyms you can use in your searching.
Some good places to look for background information are:
The following databases focus on current issues and trends in various disciplines. They usually provide information such as current situation of the topic, chronology, and opposing viewpoints. They are helpful when beginning to research a topic that you are not familiar with or if you want to know more about what both sides are saying. Sometimes, the articles are on broad topics, but may still be helpfult in gaining context regarding issues.