Opposing Viewpoints in Context from Gale Cengage Learning. (subscription database)
Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a general reference database from Gale Cengage Learning that compiles thousands of articles, audio, and video on a variety of controversial topics such as Immigration, the Death Penalty, Global Warming, and Abortion. According to Gale, the database compiles contents from the following sources:
- More than 14,000 pro/con viewpoint essays
- More than 300 primary source documents
- 300 biographies of social activists and reformers
- More than 775 court-case overviews
- 5 million periodical articles
- Nearly 6,000 statistical tables, charts and graphs
- Nearly 70,000 images and a link to Google Image Search
- Thousands of podcasts, including weekly presidential addresses and premier NPR programs
These documents have been “educator-approved” and can be trusted for academic work assigned in primary and secondary schools. Opposing Viewpoints in Context compiles content from the above list on Topic Pages, which break down the information into various categories, including Reference, Viewpoints, Featured Viewpoints, News, Magazines, Academic Journals, and Statistics, Websites, Video, and Audio. The site also has an Advanced Search feature, which allows users to narrow their search to only academic journals, to a specified date, or to a certain reading level.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a good resource for students looking for quality information on social issues being debated today. Students can type in their issue in the site’s search bar, or browse through the hundreds of topics listed on the topic page to find an issue for a particular assignment. The site is updated regularly so that current “hot topics” such as “Fracking” and “The Occupy Movement” are available as Topic pages.
The Topic pages organize the information in a very clear, and easy to use format. Every Topic page can help students find information no matter what their familiarity with the subject. Students new to the topic will find concise summaries on the Reference pages, whereas readers with more advanced knowledge will get a lot out of the Primary document and Academic Journal pages.
Once the student has found a useful source, there are a number of features on the article page that will help the student with his or her research. Students can easily save, send, or bookmark the article for easy retrieval. A citation tool allows students to create MLA or APA citations to use in their Reference pages. Gale also has a translation tool, which will translate the article into a variety of languages, including Spanish, German, and Chinese. Additionally, there is a “Listen” feature, which plays an audio version of the article, which can be helpful for second language learners.