Your textbooks and class materials are the best place are most often the best place to start.
Using Wikipedia and Desk References
It is fine for you to begin a project by consulting with Wikipedia (and similar on-line sources of encyclopaedic-type information) but you should be aware that the Wikipedia entries are open-source and are not checked and verified in the same manner as other reference materials. And sometimes the entries are confusing (have a look at "Macedonia," for example).
And Wikipedia, should you use it, should only be a starting point.
For a college research paper you should also have a look at other references, either traditional materials from the library, or on-line materials from sources like UMD E-Journal Locator, JSTOR, etc., or books and manuscripts On-Line. That is to say Wikipedia and the other reference-type sources listed should not be your only source of information. And you must add your own evaluations, comparisons, development, criticisms, critiques, and the like to any reference materials used. Simply cutting and pasting information from sources is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of either a required or extra-credit research paper.
Your paper should reflect a synthesis and evaluation of materials researched.
Try getting more information by looking at sites on the web:
Try surfing the web by searching with the search engines
found by clicking on the Web "Search" button found on the upper
righthand corner of the course WebPages. This will take you to
the course Search
Hint: When you do a search on an item that has more than
one word, like "stone tools," use the "Advanced Search"
option and enter the words in the "exact phrase" box
-- otherwise it will search out everything with "stone" and everything
with "tools," and the list of "hits" could get quite large.
Also try getting more information from JSTORE,
elelctronically stored journals, and look for other items from the
For your paper you should also use traditional
library materials, and, where appropriate, interviews and videotapes.
When you write anything you should consider audience,
purpose, and your personal style. For
your case studies, your audience should be your classmates in this
class. (Do not write your college papers to the professor