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Controversial/Contemporary Issues: Books/Journal Articles

Books

Opposing Viewpoints Series
Each book in these series covers a single broad subject, giving the arguments on different sides of the issues. You can also find some statistics and historical background. You might want to use just a single chapter from one of these books. To find a list of books in each series, search for the series by title in the library catalog.

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Library:

Catalog Home | Power Search | Browse Search | My Account | WorldCat

Boolean Search Tips (for Keyword searching)

Boolean logic is a system of operators, the most common being AND and OR, which can be used to link keywords and phrases in order to perform precise searches.

Use the operator AND to narrow your search.  For example, education AND technology will find results containing both of these keywords—even if they do not appear next to each other.

Several keywords may be used to narrow searches with the AND operator. To find information on Internet security in the banking industry, you might use:

Internet AND security AND banking

Using the OR operator broadens or widens a search to include documents containing either keyword.  The OR search is useful when there are several common synonyms for a concept.  To find information on the topic of weightlifting use the keywords weightlifting or bodybuilding.

  weightlifting OR bodybuilding

The computer searches for all documents containing the word weightlifting and all documents containing bodybuilding. In other words, all documents containing either the word "weightlifting" or the word "bodybuilding" will be retrieved.  The OR search usually produces large numbers of documents.

Truncation offers another strategy to make your searching more efficient.  You may insert a truncation symbol after the root or beginning of a word.  The results will include variations of the word.  The most common truncation symbol is the asterisk (*). 

For example, a search for:

psycho* 

will find records that have any of the words:

psychology, psychological, psychologist, psychotic, etc.

Note:  Occasionally databases may use a different symbol.  Always check the database’s help section if the truncation symbol is not providing the results you expect.

Reference Books

Encyclopedias that specialize on specific subjects (such as science, communications, or law, for example) will go into more depth than general encyclopedias. These are good resources to find history, overviews, and basic facts, and for getting ideas on how to narrow a broad topic. Look for questions or controversies within the topic. Encyclopedias of social issues and those covering ethics are particularly useful for background information on controversial topics. Ask a librarian for help identifying specialized encyclopedias on your topic.

Reference Books Online

Credo and Gale are only available online to current students, faculty and staff.

Databases

These databases are particularly good for browsing for topic ideas or finding overviews of topics. Off-campus availability is limited to current students, faculty, and staff.

Points of View via EBSCOhostProvides students with a series of essays that present multiple sides of a current issue. The database provides more than 280 topics, each with an overview (objective background/description), point (argument), counterpoint (opposing argument), and Critical Thinking Guide.

Curriculum Materials/Media Librarian

LaKeshia Darden's picture
LaKeshia Darden
Contact:
Wiggins Memorial Library
Office: Third floor, Rm 310.
CMMC Research Assistance Desk: 910-893-1595
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