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Database Profile:  Opposing Viewpoints in Context

The academic year is in full swing now and students are knee deep in research projects.  Hopefully, everyone knows that The Falmouth Public Library is a great place to go for research materials and reference help. 

Recently, more than 20 new databases were added to our collection.  Most are geared toward high school and college students and contain information that supports school curricula.  The one I am most impressed by is “Opposing Viewpoints in Context”.  What’s that about, you ask?  The database provider says, “Opposing Viewpoints in Context” is the premier online resource covering today’s hottest social issues, from Offshore Drilling to Climate Change, Health Care to Immigration. “

On the homepage, instead of encountering a search box front and center where you have to type in your own key word(s), “Opposing Viewpoints” features lists of current issues grouped by their subject.  For instance, under the subject “Energy & Environmentalism” you will see a list of several issues, including “Carbon Offsets,” “Renewable Energy,” and “Oceans”.  This is great for the reader who wants to browse and choose from a list of ideas.  Would you have come up with “Carbon Offsets” as an effective search on your own, as quickly as you can here?  Once you select an issue, you will be provided with an overview or pro/con viewpoint essay and links to a variety of resources:  articles, videos and even primary source materials when they are available.  Primary sources are original documents, like The Constitution or an author’s manuscript.  They are like “hard evidence” you can rely on when writing a paper and are preferred over some author’s version of events.

I wish this were available when I was in school and fretting about researching a current event for a presentation!  You have it all right here tied up in a neat little package so you can spend your time learning the issue - not panning for gold.

To get to “Opposing Viewpoints in Context” database, start at our library homepage and click on the database link near the newspaper icon toward the bottom of the page.  When you are at the top of the list of databases, follow the link on the right side that says “Gale Databases”.  Once in the Gale Databases list, you can find “Opposing Viewpoints” in the alphabetical list.  It is near the bottom.  Having trouble?  Contact a reference librarian.  Happy browsing. 

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