The Literary Reference Center is a wealth of information, a comprehensive full-text database of biographies, literary criticism, plot summaries, magazine and journal articles, and even images. Moreover, it provides access to a literary historical timeline extending from antiquity through the 21st century, and Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature, a great source for information on terminology specific to literature, as well as essential information on authors and their works. Highly recommended to support the work of this class!
As with any general encyclopedia, Wikipedia never should be cited as a source in college level research, but it may be an excellent place to begin exploring and focusing your thoughts. It especially is helpful for referencing information relating to literary history, biographies of authors, and historical information on individual works. Always make a point of reviewing an article's references, the "see also" section, and external links, which can be very useful and in some cases authoritative. However, take note of caveats that may headline articles, citing issues relating to an article's failure to meet expected standards.