When needing fundamental, factual information on a topic (for instance, details on a specific event, individual or theory), the first instinct for many of us would be to go to Wikipedia. This makes sense as Wikipedia is easy to use, is quite up to date, and has an almost exhaustive collection of articles on nearly every topic available.
However, the main reason that your lecturers frown upon, or outright forbid, the use of Wikipedia in your uni work is that the information found within it can be highly unreliable and inaccurate. The nature of Wikipedia as an open-source encyclopedia means that anyone can potentially write anything on it meaning that inaccurate information can creep in. While it may be moderated by others, oversight can be inconsistent and there is no guarantee that these authors are qualified to write about a given topic.
It's key advantage over, say a book, as being up to date can also be seen as another flaw- you can't be 100% certain anything on it will be the same the next time you visit it. These reasons, among others, are why you shouldn't cite Wikipedia in your uni assessments.
The library provides access to a number of very high quality reference sources- online encyclopedias, handbooks and dictionaries where you can quickly look up a topic and get reliable, essential information on it. The articles in these encyclopedias are all written by expert researchers and scholars and are regularly reviewed and updated for accuracy and currency. Best of all? You can cite them in your essays as they are proven academic-quality sources that your lecturers and tutors would be very happy to see you include.
Below are three suggested reference sources that will be useful for your research essay for this subject. You can search for a specific topic or person, or browse alphabetically or by subject.