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Background Resources provide excellent coverage of Hot Topics that provide a good foundation for understanding many current issues
Reference materials such as encyclopedias and dictionaries are often an excellent starting point for research. They offer reliable background information on many issues and topics.
Full-text encyclopedias and dictionaries.
Provides access to hundreds of online reference books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations from a variety of publishers. Covers both general reference and subject-specific reference titles for a variety of disciplines. Topic Pages give great background overviews on subjects.
Wiley Online Library
Wiley Online Library (formerly Blackwell Reference Online) is a vast online library giving instant access to the most authoritative and up-to-date scholarship across the humanities and social sciences.
Gale in Context: Biography
Biography in Context includes over 700,000 biographical entries covering more than 400,000 notable international figures from all time periods and areas of study.
Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints
A one-stop source for information on a variety of social issues. Access viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites, as well as full-text magazine and newspaper articles.
Political scientists, journalists & economics researchers are going to find original information on health care, criminal justice, political and social trends, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the economy. Each report includes an overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources.
Issues & Controversies
Issues & Controversies explore more than 800 timely, in-depth, and objective articles on topics such as politics, government, business, education, and popular culture. It is updated weekly and provides links to a 13-year backfile. Also included are links to news coverage, pros and cons statements, timelines, statistics, etc.
Access World News
This database contains electronic editions of thousands of local, national and international newspapers, along with broadcast transcripts and college and university news. It also includes the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.