Researching Pro & Con Issues
If you are doing a position
paper or speech on a "pro & con" issue, this guide should
help you! In order to make your position clear, you will need information
to support it, and information to defend yourself from the opposing
arguments. This information will come from many sources: books; chapters
in books; articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers; statistical
findings reported in articles, government reports, or Reference sources;
public opinion polls; and promotional information resources from major
national associations supporting one side or the other of the issue.
Use the Library
Catalog to search for books on your topic. Use the Subject
/ Keyword approach to find a book on your topic, and then look at the book's
subject headings on the result display. Click on the exact Library of
Congress subject heading that matches your topic to find more books on
this exact topic in the Library.
Books in Series --
If you find a recent book on your topic in one of the series
listed below, you will have an excellent start on your research. Each
of the links below will take you to that part of our online Library
Catalog where the individual titles in these series can be viewed and
Online This is the full-text online version of the
Encyclopaedia Britannica. Unlike the print edition, coverage for this
online edition is current, ongoing, and cumulative, and includes links
to major Internet sites.
Virtual Reference Library Online This encyclopedias is available
full-text and covers all subject areas.
- Encyclopedia of Bioethics
These volumes cover controversial ethical issues in the medical
and biological areas; e.g., abortion, euthanasia, drug abuse, electroshock
therapy, etc. Ref QH332.E52 2004 (1st Floor, Library North).
- West's Encyclopedia of American
Law This legal encyclopedia (written for non-lawyers) provides
background information on controversial subjects from a legal perspective.
Ref KF154.W47 2005 (1st Floor, Library North).
ARTICLES IN PERIODICALS
Electronic Journals or Magazines
the steps below to find these periodicals in electronic format:
- Click on "Journals by title"
link from the Library Web home page
- Enter your journal or magazine title
- From the journal search result page, click on a database
name that covers the journal or magazine you are looking for.
Please note that you make sure to select a database that covers
the time period you need
- Once you are in a database, click on a link usually
named "Search within this publication"
- Enter your search terms in the search boxes
- Click on Search button
- Congressional Digest
-- Monthly magazine that devotes each issue to a current
controversial topic before Congress. Online available in Academic
(an EBSCOHost database).
- National Journal
-- Weekly magazine that covers current topics of national interest.
Online available in Academic
Search Premier (an EBSCOHost database).
- Vital Speeches of the Day
-- This magazine provides the full texts of important speeches
by contemporary leaders in such fields as economics, politics, education,
business, labor relations, etc. Perhaps an important recent speech
on your topic can be located there. Online available in Academic
Search Premier (an EBSCOHost database)
Print Journals or Magazines
- Issues and Controversies on
File Contains fact-filled reports and analyses of current
"hot topics" in American government and society. Each article
concludes with a bibliography of recent sources (primarily newspaper
and magazine articles).
Ref E838 .I88 (Index Table 3, 1st Floor, Library North).
Researcher Electronic database devotes each issue to
a current controversial topic.
Lexis/Nexis Congressional Electronic database provides
more than 25 year of Congressional information, including facts and
figures on almost any topics of current interest. Check out the Political
News & Hot Topics section.
AND OPINION POLLS
Statistics and the results from opinion polls can be used to add weight
or give credence to a position.
- Gallup Organization http://www.gallup.com/
The organization's up-to-the-minute Polls News Service has a wealth
of standard, longitudinal polls and a searchable interface. It also
presents summary information, tables, charts and methodology.
Gallup Poll, a annual publication,
gives the results of polls taken by the Gallup Organization over the
preceding year on various controversial subjects. Ref HN90.P8G35 (1st Floor, Library North). Online
available in Business
Source Premier (an EBSCOHost database)
- Pro and Cons of Controversial Issues
Present research issues in a balanced, comprehensive, straightforward,
and primarily pro-con format for free and without advertising on the
- Roper Center Public Opinion Archives http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/
The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research is one of the world's
leading archives of social science data, specializing in data from
surveys of public opinion. The data held by the Roper Center range
from the 1930s, when survey research was in its infancy, to the present.
Most of the data are from the United States, but over 50 nations are
- Statistical Abstract of the United States
This database provide tables of statistical material covering a wide
range of information. It is published annually, in both print and
electronic form. The most recent print volume is kept at the Reference
Desk: Ref HA202.A385 (1st Floor, Library North).