Remember, sometimes the benefit of books is that they are written with students in mind. They can take complex subjects and explain them in a straightforward manner. Also, many of the ebooks are nicely broken down with background, vocab lists, and "chapter" presentations so that you get the complete picture of a topic. Searching in ebooks is also not as overwhelming as getting millions of results back from Google.
The downside to using books for research on genetic topics is that with rapidly changing information books are not the best place to look for the most recent changes. However, they are a great place to start research!
In the beginning stages of research you need to get some good overview articles. Try looking at this portal on Genetic Engineering from the Gale Science in Context Database. You need to get a handle on the big picture first and then break off into smaller chunks. You might discover a subtopic at this stage that is interesting to you. Once you have identified the subtopic that is most interesting to you THEN you can do more targeted key word searches both in this database and in others like Opposing Viewpoints and Sirs Database that will give pro/con looks at these topics.
1.Be flexible. If your first attempt at searching does not bring you results, be flexible with your words. Try new keywords. If the first database you try does not bring you results, try another.
2. Use the subject headings available on Results pages to help you explore topics.
3. Scan through the titles and go beyond the first page of results to find an article that may answer your questions AND that appeals to you. This gets easier with practice.
4. Choose an article that answers your research questions.
5. Choose an article that is lengthy enough to offer substantive information about your topic. If the article is only a paragraph long, chances are that it won't offer you very much information.
6. Avoid articles that are too scholarly. Many academic articles are written for professors, researchers, and graduate students and use very technical language. If you can't understand the content, move on. Gale databases allow you to choose a "Basic" or "Intermediate" reading level in your advanced search; use this function!
7. Once you find an article that answers your research questions, archive it--email it to yourself, print it, or download it so you don't forget where you found it.