WR 121 - Easby: Developing your topic
Background information - Library tools
Specialized encyclopedias like those contained in the sources mentioned below can be invaluable for exploring a topic. Remember, encyclopedias are designed to give neutral background information.
Using web searching to help you develop a topic can be incredibly useful. Googling your topic and exploring the kinds of results that you get can help you get a good lay of the land. As you use Google to find sources, think about trying to locate professional, academic, and governmental organizations that focus on your topic; don't just haphazardly pick pages where your search terms show up. Just remember that as you move toward greater focus in your research, you will want to move away from Google and toward more precise tools (like library databases).
Wikipedia will definitely come up in your search results. Use the entries to increase your knowledge of a topic and to direct you to other potential sources but do not cite Wikipedia in your paper.