Few of us are experts on any given topic. As a general rule, looking for background information on your topic help provide context and facilitates the process of research. Finding background information can be tricky but here are some things to consider:
A couple of great places to start are the CQ Press Electronic Library: It contains the CQ Resarcher Archive, a database that allows you to get an over view of various topics, along with the pros and cons, and to track changes in government policy, attitude, and even public opinion. Browse by topic or check out issues that were "hot" in a particular year.
Additional background resources:
WorldCat provides a quick and easy way to find books and other physical items when you are looking for information on a specific subject. This is a great way to explore the general availability of books on your topic. If you have checked the Library Catalog for a particular book or item and the library does not have it in the collection, search for it here and place an Interlibrary Loan request.