Before you begin researching, think about the following:
Start with encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference sources to locate terms that may be helpful in your search. When searching the library catalog, try adding the type of reference material you are looking for in the search terms. For example, "evolution" + "encyclopedia" should return results for encyclopedia volumes or entries about evolution.
While it may not be appropriate to use as a scholarly resource, Wikipedia is a good starting point. The entries are generally easy to understand summaries that can be used to identify key terms, figures, and events. It is also helpful to check the references section for the entries; oftentimes these are scholarly sources that can be used in your research, as well.
Starting with the 5 W's (who, what, when, where, why) is also a useful way to identify terms and phrases that are useful when searching for books, articles, and other materials.
The Five Ws - created by Highline Community College librarians