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Controversial Issues


This Controversial Issues Research Guide helps you find information in books, library databases, and websites.

Exploring Controversial Issues

Hot Topics Guide from O'Keefe Library, St. Ambrose University, Iowa

Oxford Reference is the premier online reference product with over 2 million digitized entries controversial issues presented in a balanced, comprehensive, straightforward, and primarily pro-con format.

Public Agenda: Issues Guides provides perspectives and analysis of public attitudes toward controversial social issues.

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Not sure what to research for?

Check Browse All Topics in Opposing Viewpoints in Context for overviews in subject areas you might be interested in.

Once you've chosen a topic, narrow it down to a question, with at least two defensible sides and find resources for both sides of the issue; not just ones that you agree with. ‚Äč

The following features enable you to search electronic databases more efficiently.

Use ANDOR, or NOT to include or exclude specific terms.

Use limiters to limit searches to specific criteria such as publication date, periodical title, full-text, scholarly (peer-reviewed), etc.

Searching for the words "pros" or "cons" will not always find information on a particular side of a controversial issue.  Consider using words like:

support, supporters, advocates, in favor of, benefits, advantages

oppose, opponents, opposition, disadvantages, risks, consequences


SEARCH MBU Library Catalog

Can't find what you're looking for?

Search the MOBIUS catalog to find books, journal titles, and audiovisual materials not available at the Jung-Kellogg Library on main campus.

Use the Interlibrary Loan Article Request Form to request articles not available through the Jung-Kellogg Library's databases or print periodicals collection. 

Library Research Databases

These databases are particularly good for browsing for topic ideas or finding overviews of topics. From the Jung-Kellogg Library homepage choose Databases A-Z, or try one of these databases:


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Reference Books

Encyclopedias that specialize in specific subjects (i.e. science, law, etc.) are good resources to find history, overviews, basic facts, and ideas on how to narrow a broad topic. Encyclopedias of social issues and those covering ethics are particularly useful for background information on controversial topics.