Online scholarly databases are a great place to start. Starting with a simple search of your topic are the best way to dip your toe in the water, get a sense of what’s out there and gauge the breadth of academic research done on your topic at hand.
InfoTrac: Full-text databases of content from academic journals and magazines
LexisNexis: Provides access to credible legal, business and news information
EBSCO: Database and eBook provider for libraries and other institutions
DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals
ProQuest: A collection of many academic and business databases
JSTOR: More than a thousand academic journals and over a million images.
Newspapers and magazines can provide a great supplement to online scholarly sources as well as bring your research up to speed on what’s current and in the news. Make sure to carefully evaluate your sources, and choose from those that are known to be objective, reputable and of high quality.
Newspapers to start with: The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal
Magazines to start with: TIME, Newsweek, The New Yorker, U.S. News & World Report, Harper’s, The Economist
What not to do. Avoid aggregate content sites such as Wikipedia, Wikihow, Yahoo! Answers and eHow. They pull their content from other places but do not properly vet their authors’ credentials and therefore are not considered credible sources of information.
NEXT: How Do I Know If My Sources Are Credible?