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Library skills for English 1111 online: Opposing Viewpoints

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Opposing Viewpoints In Context is an excellent place to research important and controversial issues such as capital punishment, immigration, marijuana reform, gun control, augmented reality, workforce concerns and dozens of other topics. New subjects are introduced and older ones updated on a regular basis as well.  It is ideal for use in preparing persuasive/argumentative essays for your English 1111 class.

There are several different ways to search for information in Opposing Viewpoints. The video to the right and the information below introduce you to one of easiest ways to search for information, especially if you are not yet sure what you want to write about.  It's always easier to write about a topic in which you are interested, so keep that in mind as you choose.  You will find it helpful to review the information on the Scholarly, Popular or Trade? tab before viewing the video.  

Please note that you will need your library barcode number to access this database if you are not on a Clark State Campus. The number is on the back of your Clark State student ID card and starts with 2512....  If you do not have an ID card, please contact the Library and we will send your barcode number to your Clark State student email. 

Once you are in Opposing Viewpoints, the simplest path to finding a topic is to click "Browse Issues" and look through the extensive list of subjects to find one you are interested in researching and then click on the topic name. Note: new sources are always added to each topic, however issues that have had extensive updating are  labeled as "updated."   Topics new to the database are indicated as "new," and because they are newly added may list fewer sources than others in the database.

When you have chosen a topic you should look on that page for the following information:

  • A general summary of the issues/controversies related to that topic--this is at the top and there is the option to 
    "read more."  This summary can help you quickly become informed about a topic and decide whether it is one you want to research.
  • Featured Viewpoints/Viewpoints are essays that argue one side or the other in relation to one of the major controversies surrounding this topic. You will usually only see three viewpoints on the front page but you can access all of them by clicking on the heading.
  • Academic Journals  links to articles from Scholarly publications
  • Magazine articles links to articles from popular publications.  These articles are completely acceptable for use in writing your paper.
  • News links to newspaper articles from major newspapers and news services.
  • Audio Stories are transcripts of stories that appeared on various National Public Radio programs. There is also a link to let you listen to the full story as it aired on the program. (This is different than the link to have the transcript read to you in a computer voice--something available for nearly all articles in Opposing Viewpoints).

The video in the box on the right shows you where to find pre-formatted MLA 8th edition and APA 6th edition citations for use in creating a bibliography/works cited page for your paper. The video also demonstrates use of the On This Page feature which allows you to jump directly to the type of source you need: viewpoint, academic, magazines, etc. 

There are many other information sources in this database and several more advanced methods of searching Opposing Viewpoints.  You'll learn about some of these when you take English 1112, but in the meantime please contact the staff at the Clark State Library if you are not finding any information for your paper.  You can also talk with us if you are not finding your desired topic--we can often help you find the correct terminology.  Contact information is listed at the bottom of this page.

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