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Rhetoric Research Guide: Researching Opposing Viewpoints

Welcome to the Research Guide for CLA 223: Rhetoric.  The suggested databases are available linked from here and from the Electronic Resources section found on the library home page.  Print resources are available in the PHC campus collection or by mail to distance learning members of the PHC community.  You may check the location and availability of an item in the on campus collection through the online catalog, Voyager, accessed through the library home page. 

Professional library assistance is available on campus, by phone at 541-441-8400, or by email at



Search the PHC Library Catalog to find items in the collection on your subject.

There are series of books that will give you an overview or examples of stances on a controversial issue. Remember that these are only an overview of one person’s opinion, not a sufficient base for an entire research project. Generally, references are provided for further research on the topic.

  • "Opposing Viewpoints" series
    Each book is its own controversial topic. Currently own 4 books in the series: Nationalism, Patriot Act, Illegal Immigration, and Environment.
  • "Taking Sides" Reference Library
    Each book covers a variety of topics within a broader topic, i.e. controversial political issues. The PHC collection currently contains seven different topics: religion, world politics, moral issues, American history, world history, political issues, social issues.
  • Counterpoints
    Each book presents the arguments on a theological contention. Some are not likely to be policy issues, such as views on the rapture, but others are, such as women in the ministry.

Don't forget to search Off-Campus Access for netLibrary netLibrary for more resources available immediately! 



  • Restricted Access Resource: CQ Researcher CQ Researcher
    Reports are published weekly on a topic of current interest. Reports include an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources. Articles range from 1923-present. Browse by topic, by date, or search by keyword. With the number of years included, it may give you a way to look at how the attitudes and arguments have changed over time.
  • Restricted Access Resource: Congressional Digest Pro & Con Online
    Monthly publications cover opposing views on controversial national issues. Documents are drawn from Congress, the Supreme Court, the United Nations and other international tribunals.


General Full-Text Periodical Databases

  • Restricted Access Resource: ProQuest ProQuest
    Periodical database covering a wide range of topics. The "Suggested Topics" box at the top of the results list can help you refine your search terms or look at different aspects of your topic. Check the box in the search or click on the tab in the results to limit your results to Scholarly Journals.
  • Restricted Access Resource: LexisNexis LexisNexis
  • Database of newspaper articles, broadcast news transcripts, SEC filings, tax law, state and federal cases, state and federal codes, elected officials, legistlative bills, primary sources in US history, and statistical tables.
  • Restricted Access Resource: JSTOR JSTOR
    Database of scholarly articles from a broad variety of disciplines. Articles are not added to JSTOR until they are at lease 3 years old. In Advanced Search you can check the box to include "articles outside of JSTOR" to find titles of articles published in recent years.


Periodical Indexes

These are citation databases, they do not provide the full-text. These are all FirstSearch databases, similar to WorldCat. You can place an ILL request from any of these databases by clicking on the ILL button.

  • Restricted Access Resource: Alternative Press Index Alternative Press (AltPress) Index & Restricted Access Resource: Alternative Press Index Archive Archive
    Indexes journals covering cultural, economic, political & social change. Archive extends coverage to 1969-1990.
  • Restricted Access Resource: Electronic Collections Online Electronic Collections Online (ECO)
    Index to a scholarly journals
  • Restricted Access Resource: ArticleFirst Article First
    Index to journal articles, just based on the table of contents.
  • Restricted Access Resource: Periodical Abstracts Periodical Abstracts (PerAbs)
    Index to general and scholarly journals, includes abstracts for the article.
  • Restricted Access Resource: Newspaper Abstracts Newspaper Abstracts (NewsAbs)
    Index the significant articles from over 50 U.S. national and regional newspapers.


    Research Tips

  • Search by subject: Once you have located an item in the catalog, click on a subject term within the record to search for other items on the same subject.
  • Search by call number:  Once you locate an item in the catalog, click on the call number to browse other titles with the same or similar subjects, as they would be located on the shelves.
  • Once you locate an appropriate resource, potential valuable resources may be listed in the item's bibliography.
  • If you you are unable to find what you need within the PHC on campus or online collection, you may request an item or article through Interlibrary loan (ILL).   An ILL request may be placed directly through the library database WorldCat.  If you have difficulty placing a request, you may use the form provided in the Interlibrary loan section of the library website or the library staff will be glad to assist you.
  • Loudoun County Public Library's Purcellville branch, located on Main Street, is available to students.  The catalog is accessible online and a library card can be obtained with a PHC ID. 
  • Proper citation for any research paper is essential.  Please use the citation style required by your professor.  Citation guides are available in the library and library staff are available to guide your search.  Online citation helps are available at a variety of sites including and .




Created: August 2007 by Charlessa McConnell
Revised: October 2009 by Sara Pensgard

Revised: January 2010 by Vickie Thornhill