I am studying year 11 philosophy at school and we are required to write a philosophy essay on a topic we are passionate about. I have always been interested in whether the world (people, places e.t.c) around me is "real" or a dream or information that is being fed into our brains e.t.c. Could you please suggest some resources I could use. As I have just started philosophy my "philosophy vocabulary" is very narrow please keep this in mind.
The obvious place to start is with Descartes' *Meditations*. If you're short of time, you could read just the first two. Alongside you might find helpful ch. 4 of *Philosophy: The Basics* by Nigel Warburton. If you're then feeling a bit braver, you might try Tony Brueckner's article 'Brains in a Vat' in the excellent Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -- there's a link to this from this website, on the right-hand side. Brueckner has more suggestions on reading. Good luck!