Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Basic Search: Getting started

Topic Development

Getting started on a research project can be challenging!  Learn more about how to begin here:

Using Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a very popular online encyclopedia that may be appropriate for background research, especially if the articles has a good bibliography. Be aware that some YCCC faculty will not allow you to use Wikipedia as a cited source.

For more information about using Wikipedia for academic research, watch this short video.

Find background information in online encyclopedias

Short encyclopedia articles can help you to quickly identify concepts, topics, issues, and keywords for brainstorming and topic development.  Credo Reference gives you access to over 600 reputable encyclopedias online.  


Better than Wikipedia!  Comes with properly formatted citations.

Print encyclopedias in the YCCC Library

Encyclopedias are a good place to begin your background research.  Try some of our more scholarly print encyclopedias in specific subject areas such as:

These encyclopedias are kept in the Reference Collection.   We will photocopy your encyclopedia articles for free, including the information you need for your bibliography.  And if you're off campus, these articles can be faxed or emailed to you at home.