Background information can help you prepare for further research by explaining all the issues related to your topic, especially when you're investigating a field that's unfamiliar to you. Tips:
Source: MIT Libraries, Background Information and Facts.
Background reading provides you with an overview of a topic. Begin your research by doing background reading - this will help you discover the scope of your subject. If the your initial topic appears very large may wish to narrow your research to a specific issue. Alternatively, if there appears to be little information on your initial topic, you may wish to broaden your research.
Use your background reading to identify keywords for your search.