Tip for students: Try the Opposing Viewpoints database for PUBLISHED* articles on controversial topics

*I mean, it counts as a PRINT source – not an Internet source – in your bibliography.


From the resources section of the BML home page, choose Opposing Viewpoints Reference Center. If you’re searching from within the Library, you’ll end up right in the database. If you’re searching from home, type in your library card number when prompted. If you are a Brattleboro student and you don’t have a Brooks Memorial Library card, come in and we’ll set you up – or call us at Reference for more information: 254-5290 x109.

I find this database very easy to navigate. You will see many links to paper topics, from biological weapons to global warming to minimum wage. You can also search by keywords.

Your search will retrieve various articles grouped under tabs. Different tabs are useful for different aspects of your paper-writing process. For example:

Viewpoints and Reference are good for getting an overview of the issue. The Viewpoints essays are by subject experts who are selected to represent a variety of opinions on controversial topics. Reference excerpts are from reference books: encyclopedias, etc. So start with those. Then move on to:

Magazines and Academic Journals. These are published articles from print journals as well as popular magazines and newspapers. Articles under these tabs will help you fulfill requirements for print sources in your bibliography. I’m guessing your teacher will like the academic ones. Don’t miss the “How to Cite” link, which automatically generates a citation in MLA format.

Primary Sources and Statistics. Teachers love these, of course, and they can help you construct your argument. Not all topics include primary sources, but many do.

Good luck with your paper, and feel free to call the reference desk for help.