Sufficient background information helps your reader determine if you have a basic understanding of the research problem being investigated and promotes confidence in the overall quality of your analysis and findings. This information provides the reader with the essential context needed to understand the research problem and its significance.
Depending on the problem being studied, forms of contextualization may include one or more of the following:
Cultural -- placed within the learned behavior of specific groups of people.
Economic -- of or relating to systems of production and management of material wealth and/or business activities.
Gender -- located within the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with being male or female.
Historical -- the time in which something takes place or was created and how that influences how you interpret it.
Interdisciplinary -- explanation of theories, concepts, ideas, or methodologies borrowed from other disciplines applied to the research problem rooted in another discipline.
Philosophical -- clarification of the essential nature of being or of phenomena as it relates to the research problem.
Physical/Spatial -- reflects the space around something and how that influences how you see it.
Political -- concerns the environment in which something is produced indicating it's public purpose or agenda.
Social -- the environment of people that surrounds something's creation or intended audience, reflecting how the people around something use and interpret it.
Temporal -- reflects issues or events of, relating to, or limited by time.
Labaree, R. V. (n.d.). Research Guides: Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Background Information. Retrieved February 9, 2017, from http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/background
Subject Headings are assigned to books and other materials in LINC to help categorize them across disciplines. One item can have several subject headings. Sometimes starting with the subject heading is a good way to learn about resources on your topic. Here is a small selection of Environmental History, Energy, Ecocriticism focused headings: