Answered By: Colin Magee
Last Updated: Jan 15, 2019     Views: 1663

Opposing Viewpoints in Context logo

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Detailed instructions:

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is database which you can use to find viewpoint essays, magazine and newspaper articles, and other information about controversial, hot topic issues.  This database is ideal for finding information for the English 101 Cause & Effect essay as well as the Argumentative/Position essay.

Depending on what your topic is, when you do a search in Opposing Viewpoints in Context, you may be taken to either a search results page or a topic page. There are over 200 topics in Opposing Viewpoints that have special results pages set up for them. If you do a search for "guns and violence" for example, you will be taken immediately to the topic page for "guns and violence."

(If you have a more specific topic that doesn't have a special page set up, once you do a search you will be taken to a search results screen instead.)

You can also access a list of topics by clicking on "Browse Issues" on the top, dark gray navigation bar.

At the top of a topic page, you are shown the title of your topic, a picture of your topic, and then a paragraph-long topic overview.  The topic overview is like something out of an encyclopedia—a short overview of your topic that gives you background information about your topic.  You can click on "View More" to be taken to a screen that will show the whole overview.

In the two columns below are the different articles broken down by publication type.  Notice that for each publication type, you are only shown up to three articles in a small box, and you can click "View All" to be taken to a screen that will show all of the articles of that publication type.

Included in the publication types, first and foremost, are featured viewpoints and viewpoint essays.  Since Opposing Viewpoints In Context focuses primarily on showing the pros and cons of a topic, these viewpoint essays (which are usually chapters from books or editorial articles) will normally argue a particular side of an issue or a topic.  Some examples: Abortion—right or wrong?  Paranormal Phenomena—real or made up?  Nuclear Energy—good or bad?  The idea is to read these editorials and use the ideas in them to support your own beliefs or arguments in your own writing.

Other publication types fall below the viewpoint essays.  These include newspaper articles, magazine articles, reference articles, academic journal articles, and usually some primary source material or statistics if those are available on your topic.  On the right side of the page you'll find multimedia (images, videos, podcasts, radio broadcasts, etc.)

Topic page in Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Search results page

When you do a basic search on a topic that isn't one of the 200 topics on the topics list, you will be taken to a search results screen instead of a topic page.  The search results screen will break down your search results by publication type, kind of like on the topic screen.  Instead of appearing in little boxes, the results will be listed horizontally along the page.  Usually the multimedia sources (like images and videos) will be blended in with the print sources.

Search results screen in Opposing Viewpoints

Reading an article:

Articles in the Gale In Context databases are always in full text and they typically only appear in the HTML format.  So you never have to worry about limiting your searching to full text.  

Tools appear on the right side: download, share, email, print, and cite are the important ones.  You can even have the article translated into a different language if you'd like, or you can click "listen" (below the article's title) to have it read out loud to you in a robotic voice.

Also on the right side, below the tools, are the controlled subject headings.  If your article is still not quite what you were hoping it'd be, you can try clicking on the controlled subject headings and this will help you find something more relevant to your search.

Reading an article in Opposing Viewpoints

If you need help using Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context, please contact the library.

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