Before starting your research, it's important to develop a search strategy. This is an organized approach for gathering information to help you find the most appropriated resources for your topic and save you time.
This short video from Suffolk Community College describes the process.
To get an overview of your topic, the Credo Reference database is a good place to start. Other online encyclopedias are also available through the Library:
The Library also has print reference materials to use for finding background information. Examples of print subject encyclopedias include: The Encyclopedia of Marine Science, The Encyclopedia of Religion (16 volumes), Encyclopedia of World Art (17 volumes), Encyclopedia of Social Problems, The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians (20 volumes), Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English, CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics and many more.
In order to choose the right database to match your topic, you need to know how the information cycle works. This video, from the University of Illinois, describes how information is created and is built upon over time. From moments following an event to many years later, the type of information you need for your research depends upon your specific research goal or topic.
Now that you know about how information and knowledge are created over time, you can choose resources that best match your topic.