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Controversial Topics: Getting started: Topic overviews

A library research guide on the best sources of information for controversial topics and different points of view.

Topics: Getting started

Need a topic?

  • Browse for overviews in subject areas you are interested in.
  • Once you choose a topic, narrow it down to a question, with at least two defensible sides. 
  • Find resources for both sides of the issue; not just ones that you agree with. ‚Äč

Book series

Book series on controversial topics
Each book in these series covers a single broad subject, giving the arguments on different sides of the issues. You can also find some statistics and historical background. You might want to use just a single chapter from one of these books. Opposing Viewpoints is also available as a database. To find a list of books in each series, search for the series by title in the STLCC Library Catalog.

  1. Contemporary World Issues
  2. Current Controversies
  3. Information Plus
  4. Opposing Viewpoints
  5. Taking Sides
  6. Reference Shelf

Reference Books Online

Credo and Gale are only available online to current students, faculty and staff.

Overviews in databases

These databases are particularly good for browsing for topic ideas or finding overviews of topics. Off-campus availability is limited to current students, faculty, and staff.

Overviews in Reference Books

Encyclopedias that specialize on specific subjects (such as science, communications, or law, for example) will go into more depth than general encyclopedias. These are good resources to find history, overviews, and basic facts, and for getting ideas on how to narrow a broad topic. Look for questions or controversies within the topic. Encyclopedias of social issues and those covering ethics are particularly useful for background information on controversial topics. Ask a librarian for help identifying specialized encyclopedias on your topic.

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000