Booth Library
Eastern Illinois University
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Controversial Issues, finding research material

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To find books, use the EIU Online Catalog
The EIU Online Catalog is used to identify all material owned by Booth Library and over 80 other university libraries throughout Illinois. It is automatically pre-set to search EIU's library collection. (If you want to search for materials in other libraries, change the drop-down menu to say All I-Share Libraries.)

basic search of EIU library catalog, screenshot

Keyword gives you a quick and easy way to find items in the library. Enter the terms you want to search for in the box. Then, on the right-hand side, select the type of search you want.

Searching by keyword will find your words throughout the entire catalog, including: words in book titles, authors, subjects, titles of book chapters, and so forth. The more terms you type, the more items the system will retrieve. This is the most general type of search and can give you a large number of results, some of which may not pertain directly to your topic. The results are listed in relevance order, based on the terms you typed. For best results, put quotes around your terms if you’re searching for a phrase.

When thinking of keywords, try to come up with single words and phrases, or combinations of phrases, rather than long descriptions. Think about synonyms to describe your topic, too.

Example searches:
   “hate crimes”
   “gay marriage”
Advanced Search will let you combine search terms to do more complex searches. It also lets you limit your search to items of a particular type, or published in a specific year or range of years.

EIU library catalog advanced search screen capture

Example searches:

      gun control                          football
AND schools                         AND head injuries

To find the books on the shelf, you’ll need to know the Call Number (these are on the labels on the spines of the books) and Location. Both are listed in the EIU Online Catalog. For a map of Booth Library, visit any service desk in the building, or see our website.
To find journal articles

The default search box on the library home page is the Articles search. From it you can search a select list of EBSCO databases, or JSTOR, or Lexis Nexis. If you’re off campus, you’ll be prompted for your EIU NetID and password once you begin searching.

This searches collections of millions of articles (simply referred to as a “database”) from thousands of different magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and academic (aka scholarly or peer reviewed) journals, with many of the articles available online as PDF. In the search box, enter a word, phrase, or combination of terms.

For articles that don’t appear online as HTML or PDF, click the Get Full Textlink to see whether you can find the article online from one of the other dozens of databases we have at Booth, or whether we have the journal in print in the library stacks, or whether you need to order it from another library via our free Interlibrary Loan Service.

Sample searches:

If your research question is:

“Should college athletes be paid?”

Then try these keywords:

college athletes and payment (here are those results) 
 or perhaps... 

college athletes and wages (here are those results)

notice the difference in the number of relevant articles you retrieve from just changing one word! 

If your research question is:

“Does watching violence on TV increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior?”

Then try these keywords:

media violence aggressive behavior  (Here are those results) 
Other sources

CQ Researcher provides award winning in-depth coverage of the most important issues of the day. Reports are written by experienced journalists, footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Graphics, photos and short "sidebar" features round out the reports. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide a solid introduction to subjects most in demand by students.Issues and Controversies on File

The Issues and Controversies database provides analyses and explanations of opposing points of view for more than 800 hot topics. The articles include chronologies, illustrations, maps, tables, sidebars, bibliographies, and more.The Issues and Controversies database provides analyses and explanations of opposing points of view for more than 800 hot topics. The articles include chronologies, illustrations, maps, tables, sidebars, bibliographies, and more.

The database presents controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan primarily pro-con format.

Opposing Viewpoints Series

This is a series of over 160 books in Booth Library’s collection. Each book focuses on a different topic, discusses it in depth, and provides information on both the pro and con aspects. To find them, do a Keyword search in the EIU Online Catalog with the terms "greenhaven press" AND "opposing viewpoints"

     Race Relations: Opposing Viewpoints
Books Series
Several publishers offer book series that address controversial issues and provide access to pro and con arguments.  Click on a link below to see a list of titles in each series available at Booth Library.

At Issue (Greenhaven Press)

Contemporary World Issues

Opposing Viewpoints

Reference Shelf