Pros and cons of contemporary issues

Use the links below to explore current issues, find a topic for your paper, and find arguments related to that topic. 

Research Databases

Academic Search Ultimate Guide
A great place to begin your research. It covers all subject areas, contains mostly full-text articles, and contains both popular and scholarly articles.

CQ Researcher  
A fantastic resource to use when you want to learn about hot topics and current issues. Each article is well written and researched and provides excellent background information and analysis. Includes topics such as animal rights, drinking on campus, climate change, medical marijuana, and other current controversial issues. New reports added weekly.

A full-text database of scholarly articles. It covers a wide variety of topics from economics to African American studies to biology. It is a great place to gain a contextual understanding of your topic.

Nexis Uni (formerly LexisNexis Academic) Guide
Offers coverage from a wide variety of national, local, and university newspapers and is a terrific resource to use when you need information on current events and campus related information.

Google Scholar
A part of Google that searches only scholarly or academic articles or other publications. Don’t ever pay for an article on Google before you check to see if you can get it for free from the library.

This is a great site to give you some ideas of current topics and how to put those topics into a research question.

Public Agenda
A great source for discovering and analyzing public opinion on a current topic. Each guide contains and overview of the issue and background data including statistics from major public opinion polls in easy to understand graphs.

Use this source to browse current news stories to generate research ideas. You can search this resource by individual state or on a national level.

Times Topics
Each topic page collects all the news, reference and archival information, photos, graphics, audio and video files published on topics ranging from Madonna to Myanmar. This treasure trove is available without charge on articles going back to 1981.


Each link below takes you to a listing of books about contemporary social issues. You can use these lists both to get ideas for topics and to find information about those topics.

At Issue Series
Topics include affirmative action, domestic violence, future of the internet, policing the police, rainforests, welfare reform, and others.

Contemporary Issues
Topics include affirmative action, animal experimentation, drugs, abortion, euthanasia, gun control, homosexuality, immigration, pornography, and others.

Contemporary Issues Companion
Topics include battered women, depression, eating disorders, legalized gambling and organized crime.

Current Controversies Series
Some of the topics in this set include assisted suicide, crime, gambling, gay rights, gun control, hate crimes, Native American rights, police brutality, sexual harassment, and many others.

Opposing Viewpoints Series
A few of the topics in this series include America's prisons, biomedical ethics, censorship, euthanasia, immigration, media violence, sports in America, working women, and many others.

Reference Shelf Series
Each book presents more than 20 important articles from a wide range of national publications, exploring the "hot button" topics people are talking about from multiple perspectives. Recent topics includes the European Union, free trade, women's rights and Homeland security.

Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues
Click on each book title and scroll down to the Contents note for specific topics covered--you can get great ideas for paper topics here. Includes topics on political, social, economic and historical issues.