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The links on this page are starting points: you can certainly find other appropriate sources than these! Remember to evaluate each source you find for authority, accuracy, and credibility, however.
Background information or overviews or fast facts -- you want to look up something, be able to quickly learn what the heck it is, and then move on. These types of sources are relatively short and while they may cover a lot of ground about a topic, they stick to basic who/what/when/where facts, not deep analysis.
Dozens of complete reference books on arts, business, education, history, law, literature, sciences, and technology, including the popular sets of Short Stories for Students, Novels for Students, Poetry for Students, and Drama for Students.
Articles, experiments, videos, and podcasts on the most significant science topics of today. Contains magazine as well as academic journal and news articles.
Library jargon for the easy, accessible, affordable sources of information that are good but not quite as rigorous as academic works. News stories and magazines are a couple typical examples, but regular websites fit in here, too.
From literature to politics, this magazine offers a diverse selection of articles.
What about books?:
Books, like websites actually, exist on a spectrum: some are popular, some are scholarly. They get a little bit of a credibility edge by having to pass through a publisher, at least! They also exist on a spectrum of depth, with some providing nice introductions to topics (like your class textbooks) while others offer a deep dive into a very focused subject.
Over 100,000 ebook titles covering a full range of academic topics. General reference works are also included.
You can streamline the quality of your Google searches by focusing on government (.gov), education (.edu), and organization (.org) domains in your results.
.gov is the most strict to register -- non-government entities can't get it!
.edu is mostly universities, but you'll sometimes come across some K-12 entities with this domain. Make sure you're not reading a student paper as a source, though!
.org is the least reliable of these three, since it doesn't take much to form an organization.
Google has some advanced search commands to make this quicker. Just add site:___ to your search! E.g. site:nasa.gov or even just site:.edu. Try it below!
The CRAAP Test
Evaluate your source's...
Also, The Three Rs
Is your source Recent? Reliable? Relevant?
Is this source up-to-date? Is it about my topic, and does it go into enough depth? Does it come from an authoritative source? Is the information accurate (and are there citations given to back it up)? And why was this information written in the first place?