Encyclopedias should not be your main sources, but can give you good background information and clarify concepts.
Approach: Your paper does not have a chance to be substantive unless you have substantive sources.
Science and technology rapidly advances; therefore, "old "stuff," other than as background information, can be misleading and lead to wrong conclusions.
Look for possible topics and background information in specialized encyclopedias, such as Mc Graw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, Magill's Survey of Science: Life Science Series, Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology, American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine.
The sources should be varied - not all Internet sources, for example - and be appropriate for a college level research paper.
People magazine, Readers Digest, and others of that ilk are not satisfactory.
This information should be on a separate page called References.
Abide by all of the APA format guidelines for the reference page.
If you thought you would be able to get through college without much writing, you may find yourself asking, “Isn’t writing a research paper enough? In many cases, you will need to write a research paper proposal before you write your actual paper.
Ultimately, your professors will grade your final paper on your ability to interpret and intelligently discuss your topic and be able backup your findings with solid evidence.