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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.
Background Resources provide excellent coverage of Hot Topics that provide a good foundation for understanding many current issues.
The resources below contain opposing views, in-depth reports on a variety of social issues, and more (full-text):
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.
Original, non-partisan reports that are investigated and written by seasoned journalists and authors. Coverage ofsuch topics as health care, criminal justice, political and social trends, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the economy.
Issues & Controversies
Exploring hundreds of timely, in-depth, and objective topics such as politics, government, business, education, and popular culture. Articles are updated weekly. Also included are links to news coverage, pros and cons statements, timelines, statistics, etc.
Access World News
Check out the Suggested Topics (especially Social Issues, Environment, etc.).
Online Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
Background resources for broader topics (definitions of terms, topics, etc):
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.
Oxford Reference contains full text dictionaries and encyclopedias from the Oxford University Press. It is easy to search and contains entries on a wide array of topics from business, computing and environmental science to art, biology, literature, religion, and political science.