This is the "Researching Controversial Issues" page of the "SCHC 158" guide.
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SCHC 158  

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Researching Controversial Issues Print Page

Quick Search All Content

Works best when you keep your search simple. Use the article databases for more complex searching.

If you want to look for books and do more complex searching use the Classic Catalog.

Article Databases

The library databases can also be a stepping stone to help you identify other sources that will passionately address a topic.  You could get leads on individuals, associations, or organizations that you could use to search the internet.

  • Academic Search Complete
    Covers all subject areas with a mix of magazines and journals. You'll need to review the articles to determine if they are neutral, positive, or negative towards an issue.

    Can limit a search to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context
    Helpful to get you started thinking about controversial issues. Purposefully selects materials with a viewpoint.
  • America's News [NewsBank]
    Fulltext content from over 2,000 local, regional, and national U.S. newspapers, news video, and news blogs. Coverage varies by title, with some titles providing fulltext since the late 1970s. Includes The State and other SC newspapers.

    Add "editorial" as a search term.
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Includes regional, national, and international newspapers, news wires and broadcast transcripts. See the handout for easy ways to refine your searches, including limiting to editorials and opinion pieces.
  • Readers' Guide Full Text Mega
    Do you know magazines with a particular slant?
  • More Article Databases
    Think about who would be writing about your topic and select relevant subject areas to identify subject specific article databases to search.

    Subject specific databases will have mostly scholarly sources.

Popular Magazines by Political Viewpoint

Unless otherwise indicated, these magazines can be found in Academic Search Complete

Conservative Liberal
American Conservative   American Prospect
American Spectator Dissent
Christianity Today In These Times (Lexis Nexis Academic)
Commentary Mother Jones
First Things Nation
Human Events New Republic
Modern Age New Statesman
National Interest Progressive
National Review Tikkun
New Criterion Village Voice (Lexis Nexis Academic)
Policy Review Washington Monthly

Weekly Standard (Lexis Nexis Academic)


Search Basics


     both terms present

     narrows a search


     either term present

     broadens a search with synonyms

*      wildcard for different endings

Getting the full text of an article

1.  Some databases will have links to the full text of the article right in the database.  The articles usually have a link for either HTML Full Text, PDF Full Text, or Linked Full Text under the citation information. 

2.  If a full text link does not appear, click the Find Text Image button.  The Find Text button searches the Libraries' e-journals list.

3.  If the article isn't available online, search the library catalog to see if the journal is on the library shelves. Come to the library and get the article or USC students, faculty and staff can use Scan and Deliver through your interlibrary loan account. The article will be scanned and delivered electronically to your desktop. 

4.  When we don't have the publication, but you really want the article you can request it through Interlibrary Loan [ILL].  First time you use ILL you'll need to register.

LexisNexis Search Tips

Want to hone your searches to really relevant articles or limit your searches to college newspapers or editorials?  Here's how:


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Marilee Birchfield
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Marilee Birchfield
Thomas Cooper Library
Reference Department
University of South Carolina
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