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ECON 201HC: Develop a Topic

Find Background Information

Background information helps you learn about aspects of a topic that might interest you. 

The best way to complete your background research is with reference sources like subject encyclopedias, handbooks and dictionaries. They provide basic information and broad overviews of a wide variety of topics or terms. Use reference sources to:

  • explore topics for research
  • get background information
  • explain unfamiliar ideas

MC Library has reference sources both online and in print. Take a few minutes to read broadly about your topic using the suggested sources listed below or visit your campus library for help using print reference sources.


Suggested Resources

Research Skills & Tips:

Economics is a very broad topic. It is always a good idea to narrow your research. Several ways of doing this are:

  • to a specific topic or a topic that interests you (e.g., debt ceiling) 
  • by country/region (e.g., budget issues in Montgomery County) 
  • by time period/dates/eras (e.g., 1860s, Industrial Revolution) 
  • by combining keywords/using a phrase (e.g., "green economics")

Step 1: Develop a Topic

The first step in a research project is choosing a topic. Begin your research with general background information. This will help you explore the topics of interest, develop research questions and search terms, and decide where to look for sources.

When you're ready, move to the next step: Find Sources.

Economics as a Curriculum

Economics is "a social science concerned with the production of goods and services, their distribution, exchange, and consumption. Microeconomics is concerned with the problems facing individuals and firms, while macroeconomics is concerned with the economy of a country and regulation of the economy by governments." Economics. (2003). In The MacMillan encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Market House Books Ltd. Retrieved from:

Economics Program at Montgomery College: