While wikipedia can sometimes be a good starting point, it is not considered "scholarly." If you are you having trouble distinguishing between the peer-reviewed/scholarly journals from the trade publication or popular magazines, Below is a link to a document that will help explain the differences.
REVIEW VERSUS RESEARCH
It is also important to be able to distinguish between review articles and research articles. A review article’s primary purpose is not to present new research, but to summarize, analyze, discuss, and provide an overview of previously published work on a topic. A research article is designed to present new research, methods, and/or findings. Research articles often employ the IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Research, and Discussion) format. Below are a few articles of interest on this topic.
One of the first steps in creating a research plan is to select "key words" which best describe the topic you plan to research.
If you are unfamiliar with the terminology you encounter while searching article databases (or while reading articles in journals) you may wish to refer to sources such as textbooks, dictionaries, and other reference resource in the field of study. Contact your instructor if you are unsure if a particular topic is appropriate. It is usually wise to make sure you are on target with your topic before you begin to spend much time researching a project.
Here is a short list of some possible terms (be sure to scroll down to check out the whole list). Use the following terms individually or in combination with one another:
AMERICANS -- Attitudes
SLAVERY -- United States
If you have still not come up with the right keywords, try some subject terms of your own and don't forget to use some boolean operators (and, or, not) to assist you in narrowing or broadening your search.
Check out these databases if you are looking for scholarly articles.
Below are some general and English/literature related databases that will be useful:
There is a lot of content in this box, be sure to scroll down for additional tips/techniques.
If you need a better understanding of Boolean logic and searching, here are a few resources to help: