101 Orientation - B.
Nov. 8, 2006
Library web site -
the best place to start your
How to find
and choose one
that interests you:.
Go to the
Controversies database from our homepage.
Click on "Need a Research Topic? Click Here" in the
upper right corner of the screen.
Go to the
database from our homepage. Click on "Leading Issues" on
center of the screen. Each issue guide has a
Pro/Con tab at the top.
Go to the
Congressional Digest Online database from our
homepage. Click on "Pro
& Con Online" link on the left.
Topics are divided into civil rights & judiciary,
& environmental policy, government & politics,
and foreign policy.
In addition, for analysis and commentary from a
specific point-of-view, look for publications from
How to arrive at a position on a
Find works that offer both sides of an
Opposing Viewpoints series
The History of Issues series
At Issue series
Rio Hondo Library list of
Attempting to search a general database
such as ProQuest for your issue with terms such as
support, oppose, pro, con, etc. can be very ineffective.
Results are not usually what you had hoped for:
(this was a search for "parental notification" AND
DiCamillo said the uptick in
support for Proposition 85, the
measure to require parental
notification for teen abortions,
though slight, could signify that it was headed
toward passage. A similar measure that failed
last year, Proposition 73, was down slightly in
a poll taken at the same point before last
[Clea Benson. Bee Capitol Bureau. The
Sacramento Bee. Sacramento,
Nov 2, 2006. pg. A.1]
sequence of steps for researching your topic: Example
- If the issue is completely new to you, start with an
overview in a subject encyclopedia.
- Find books or series that give both
sides to an issue.
- Follow up references in bibliographies.
- Do a search in ProQuest for one of the articles
cited in the bibliography and then click on "More
- Use a subject guide or web directory to find
relevant, authoritative web sites on your topic or to
find sources of "hot topics".
- Check those web sites for links to "Publications",
"Reports", "Links" and the like.
- Look for scholarly articles (if appropriate) in
online databases to get
a substantive treatment or critical analysis on some
aspect of your topic.
- Look for magazine articles in online
databases to get a layperson's treatment of the topic
(tend to be more opinionated and less scholarly or
- Look for newspaper editorials if you want opinion
pieces that dovetail with your own.