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General Overviews of a Topic
Before you begin your research, you should get some background information about your topic, understand the vocabulary and terms used in relationship to your topic, and identify any issues or controversies associated with your topic.
Try wikipedia to get a quick overview of your topic. Remember, you cannot cite it as a source in your paper, but it is a good place to get an idea of vocabulary, issues and controversy on a topic.
Use with caution! Wikipedia is an open system, and information can be posted to it by anyone. Quality and reliability cannot be guaranteed.
Online Subject Encyclopedias
Subject encyclopedias are a great place to get background information on your topic, and are generally more trustworthy sources than Wikipedia.
A primary source is a document, speech, or other sort of evidence written,
created or otherwise produced during the time under study. Primary sources offer
an inside view of a particular event.
Congressional Documents, Presidential Documents, Budget and other documents.
Articles from Journals and Magazines
Go to the library home page, and select the Article Databases tab to access the library databases to search for articles in journal and magazines. use the Subject drop down menu to help you select the right database for your topic.
or select a library subject guide to see the librarian's suggestions for subject databases.
Use one of these resources to access biographical information.
How to Use an Article Database
Polls & Opinion Surveys
Gallup Poll News Service
Search the Gallup Poll News Service through the Lexis Nexis Academic database.
Free internet resource - Provides access to some polling data and information.
Research Guides / Library Guides
Guides to resources in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Engineering, Nutrition & Food Science and more.
US Government Science Portal
Searches over 45 databases and over 2000 selected websites from 14 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results.
Knovel provides a one-stop source for finding answers to science and engineering questions through over 500 titles.