Read a general encyclopedia article on the top two or three topics you are considering.
Reading a broad summary enables you to get an overview of the topic and see how your idea relates to broader, narrower, and related issues. It also provides a great source for finding words commonly used to describe the topic. These keywords may be very useful to your later research.
If you can't find an article on your topic, try using broader terms and ask for help from a librarian.
The databases listed below are good places to find general information. The library's print reference collection can also be useful and is located on the third floor of the library.