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Best Bets - Start with a couple of quick searches using the library's search engine, then try a subject-specialized database like JSTOR to get a feel for the type and quantity of sources available. Play around with the suggested search terms.
Background Information - Sometimes you need a definition or basic fact for your paper that you can't find in a scholarly article. Or perhaps you need a more basic understanding of your topic before diving deeper into scholarly research. This is where reference sources, such as encyclopedias, come in handy.