In the earliest stages of a research project, when you are looking for a possible topic or gethering basic information about a topic you have in mind, some of the best tools to use are reference resources: bibliographies, guides to research for specific subjects, specialized historical or biographical enclyclopedias, and related works. These materials are designed to provide you with an introductory overview of a topic. The best reference works:
In sum, reference resources are very efficient tools to use in the early stages of research paper topic selection and topic refinement; they are practical stepping stones to the next stages of your project. They can save you time and should be consulted as you begin your work.