Reference resources help you choose, explore and develop your topic! Reference sources such as encyclopedias and dictionaries contain overviews and background information. They sometimes contain statistics, definitions and lists of resources for further study. When you have a better understanding of your topic, it will be easier to come up with the search terms you'll use to find the books and articles you need.
Another good source is to do a search in a Scholarly Database like PUBMED, and do a search on your topic, limited to document type=review. This will give background information too.
Find background information on your topic to get a general overview. When you have a better understanding of your topic, it will be easier to generate search terms in the library catalog and databases. Wikipedia is usually an okay place to start but never cite it as a source in your papers!