Zondervan Library has thousands of reference resources (specialized subject specific encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks) in print and electronic format. Reference materials are excellent resources for background information, quick facts and summaries with minimal effort. The purpose of this step is to give you enough background on your topic to help you create a viable research question or topic, to help you organize and focus the direction of your paper with a reasonable scope. These sources give the issues surrounding a topic from multiple perspectives. For example, if your topic is "climate change." you might compare air pollution control in China and the US. What are the international laws restricting carbon emissions and how are they be inforced? What are the limitations of the current process and how might it be improved? What steps are being taken in China/US to control air pollution in large cities?
Sources might be: Encyclopedia of China : the essential reference to China, its history and culture REF 951 P44e
Dictionary of energy eBook
Librarians can point you to reference resources specific to your topic.
Here are links to some e-reference resources. Be aware that your topic might be covered best by a print reference resource. If you are unable to find a suitable reference article ask Linda or the person at the Ask desk for help finding the best source.