A mix of excellent research tools and starting points.
Here are some suggestions to help you start your research:
(1) Make sure you understand your assignment. Is your intended topic within assigment parameters? Do you need to consult specific sources, such as a scholarly journal? Do you need to do an interview? Does the assignment require a bibliography and footnotes?
(2) Think about your topic. What are the keywords or key phrases that describe this topic? Do you need to consult an encyclopedia or handbook to become familiar with this topic?
(3) If you are writing about public policy, you may be using different sources than you would for a research paper, such as policy institute websites and articles. Think about the point of view of the writer or website sponsor. Is there an underlying political agenda?
Make sure that, as you find new leads and articles, you document all sources. Refworks (see the Writing & Citing section) can help you keep track of your citations and then produce a bibliography in the style sheet of your choice.