Use reference materials to find background information. Reference books can help you:
Need some more background information about that new concept you learned in class today? Writing a paper on a topic that's new to you? Not sure what topic to choose for your paper? Answer yes to any of these questions, and a subject-specific encyclopedia is the thing for you. Go to...
The Library's History of Science and Technology: A Research Guide:
The library maintains a resource page for history of science and technology. It links to writing guides, presentation guides, biographical materials, catalogues, databases, and other resource that you might find useful for your assignments.
Lyman Briggs’s library liaison is Suzanne Teghtmeyer: http://staff.lib.msu.edu/teghtmey/
Wikipedia is a common starting point for many people researching a new topic, but unlike scholarly subject-specific encyclopedias, most professors will not allow you to cite Wikipedia in your bibliography. View this video tutorial, Wikipedia: Beneath the Surface, from North Carolina State University Libraries for more information about how Wikipedia works and its information quality.