Tertiary sources are excellent starting points! They consist of information synthesized from primary and secondary sources. Examples include:
Almanacs | Chronologies | Dictionaries and Encyclopedias | Directories | Fact books | Guidebooks | Indexes, abstracts, bibliographies used to locate primary and secondary sources | Manuals | Textbooks
These resources give you succinct overviews of your topic, explain scholarly arguments, point out interesting questions, and refer you to especially key sources.
When you find some concept, person, place, etc., in the popular press, and you want to know more about it, where do you look? Wikipedia might be ok... or not. Try a reference book or e-book!
Use reference books to find background information and basic facts. Print reference books cannot be checked out of the library, so they should be there when you need them. E-books are accessed through Blais, generally available inside or outside the library.
The links below will get you started.