Research is all around you. And, don't rule out getting pre-information from videos, parents, teachers, online newspapers, television, YouTube, blogs and wikis.
Asking questions and "being curious" is essential for effective research. Remember, historians think in terms of the past and the implications of political, economical and social events on the present.
When researching for background info, think and answer these key questions. This will help develop search terms to find appropriate library resources: books, periodicals, online databases, and Internet (Web) sources.
What is this person's real name? Watch the spelling of foreign names.
What time period?
What significant contributions has this person made?
What are the events, people or thinking which influence this person?
What groups or cultures involved?
Create APA, Chicago, or MLA citations.