Pamphlets (or booklets) and factsheets have been librarian favorites for years for this very purpose. These are good for up-to-date overviews (including facts & figures) that are brief but at the same time quite informative.
Pamphlets & factsheets are available on many commonly assigned homework topics such as drug abuse, attention deficit disorder, managing credit card debt, & much more. One good source is the U.S. government's Federal Consumer Information Center. CIC pamphlets are available in such categories as cars, children, education, employment, federal programs, food, health, housing, money, small business, travel, etc. You can either read them fulltext online or download them, all for free, of course.
The Do It Now Foundation started out just covering drug abuse & drug prevention topics but has since expanded to cover such areas as peer pressure, date rape, eating disorders, school violence, street gangs, domestic violence, etc.
Medical pamphlets & factsheets are available (again from the U.S. government) from MEDLINEplus' Health Topics area. You can browse the topics A-Z, browse by broad categories, or search a specific disease or condition.
Another good U.S. government medical site for pamphlets & factsheets is Healthfinder.
The next time you need some good information fast on a topic whether for a brief talk, a short opinion paper, or just for yourself remember to check out pamphlets & factsheets online!
For more information see: