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Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Topic Pages & Source Types

The biggest, most popular issues in Opposing Viewpoints in Context have Topic Pages dedicated to them. You can think of Topic Pages as "homepages" for different issues, with an introductory article at the top and links to different types of articles and sources below:

         Example: screenshot of "social media" Topic Page.

Some of the sources listed in blue may already be familiar to you (e.g. Academic Journals, Newspapers, Magazines, Websites, etc.), but others are unique to Opposing Viewpoints.

Viewpoints are short opinion pieces in which the authors present evidence in an attempt to sway you to their side of the issue. Reading these Viewpoints is a great way to familiarize yourself with the common arguments, counterarguments, and evidence people use when debating these issues. Featured Viewpoints have been marked by the Opposing Viewpoints editors as "significant," so you may want to start with the Featured Viewpoints if you're going this route.

Reference articles are usually used for background information and definitions. In fact, the introductory article at the top of all Topic Pages can be considered a Reference source -- it is great for quickly bringing you up to speed on a topic and it might provide you with some ideas for further research topics and searches. These articles are similar to what you find on Wikipedia, only better: They come from trusted encyclopedias that are appropriate for college-level research.

Choosing the Right Article(s) - More Search Tools

After clicking on a specific type of article/source, you'll be taken to a page that lists every article/source in the Opposing Viewpoints database that falls under that category. By default, Opposing Viewpoints puts the sources it thinks are most "relevant" at the top of that list; however, in most cases, you'll need to do some digging down the list to find the best articles for your situation.

For example, pictured below, there are almost 2,000 Academic Journal articles about "Social Media." Which ones are best for me? Where do I even begin? To narrow down your results and find more relevant sources, try using the buttons under "FILTER YOUR RESULTS," especially the following:

  • Publication date: use this tool to set specific date ranges for your sources and guarantee you're never using outdated information.
  • Subjects: narrow down sources by the primary topic of the article.
  • Search Within: search the full-text of every source for specific words/phrases.
  • Lexile Measure/Content Level: narrow down sources by how difficult/easy they are to read.

Results narrowed to academic journals; filtering tools are highlighted.

Note: you can use the buttons under "FILTER YOUR RESULTS" multiple times on the same set of articles/sources in order to continually refine your results and make smaller lists. For example, I could "Search Within" the Academic Journal articles for a specific phrase, then, when presented with a list of articles that contain that phrase, I can narrow them down further by date, subject, difficulty, etc.



Video (1:29): Topic Pages

This video will show you how Topic Pages can be used to help with your research (source).

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