Do some preliminary reading before settling on a topic. If you know very little about the topic you have chosen, you may need to narrow or broaden your topic later. Browse subject encyclopedias, magazine articles, textbooks, etc. for ideas.
Gather background information to familiarize yourself with your topic. Reference materials such as subject encyclopedias are great resources to start. Encyclopedia articles are comprehensive overviews of important topics in the field. You may also consult particular books for more information.
Go to the Journals/Articles tab to see how to locate particular articles.
Depending on your topic, you may also need other forms of scholarly information, such as research data or reports, which may not be found in literature databases. The web portals and search engines listed on the Web Sources tab are useful to find such information. Note: As most information free online is not peer-reviewed, you need to evaluate the authority and reliability of information found on the Internet before using it.
Along with asking your instructor for help, these resources can help you write your paper or article: