General information is a good place to start your research because it can help you to narrow a too broad topic or broaden a too narrow one. Reading an encyclopedia article can give you insight into an area within the broader topic that will be suitable for your research and give you enough knowledge about that topic to begin researching it intelligently. Articles in these pieces are usually written by experts in the field and will include bibliographic references which will lead you to other books and journal articles on the same topic. Keep in mind, however, that this is not where most of the research for your paper should come from!
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