The most important part of the research process is to develop a research question. Often, we start with a general idea, but general ideas are too broad to research. Use reference sources like encyclopedias to help you narrow down your focus and get background information. You may begin with a tentative thesis in mind, but reading secondary sources should help you refine this thesis and shape your paper.
Type in the keywords in the RIT Libraries Catalog. Use the word encyclopedia, or handbook when you construct your search. I used cloning AND handbook as an example. You can narrow the results to e-books only.
Some print encyclopedias are available and can be checked out. Others cannot be checked out. Many encyclopedias are online. Use the RIT Libraries Catalog search bar below to find encyclopedias and books on your chosen topic. When looking for books, try the subject or keyword search. You may have to play around with keywords to get what you want. For example, synonyms for cloning could be biotechnology, stem cell research, and genetic engineering. Use a thesaurus to help you find synonyms.
You also can use our reference databases to find books. The databases are linked below. You can find books by lexile levels. View this RIT Libraries Catalog short video to find lexile levels of books.