Start with the Tripod Catalog. Click on the "Search Tips" tab in this guide to see more information about how to best search for materials on Tripod. Remember, if something is checked out, use EZ Borrow or ILL (interlibrary loan) to request it--DO NOT recall the book. It takes too long!
Use WorldCat only if you are trying to find *everything* written about a topic, or you want to know what libraries hold a specific item. WorldCat is a massive resource and it can get kind of overwhelming.
BEST BET! JSTOR. See below.
Take a look at the following list of databases (a one-stop shop for academic journal articles) and begin searching for articles on your topic. Remember to be flexible--if one search doesn't work, try a different one. If one database doesn't seem to have what you need, move on to another. If you have too many hits, try adding a search term, or specifying a search term. If you have too few hits, try expanding your search term. See the "Search Tips" tab in this guide for more advice.
Depending on your topic there may be other databases that will be useful for your research. Check the appropriate subject guide in the Research Guides.