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Hot Topics

Researching a Hot Topic?  Writing about one side of a contentious issue or controversial public policy?  We've collected some library resources to help you pick a topic, get more information about both sides, bibliographies to find more sources on your topic and more!

What is "Reference?"

You "refer" to reference books for a concise, factual overview of a particular topic, without bias.  This makes them a GREAT place to begin your research (or help you figure out a topic to research)! Find both PRINT and ELECTRONIC reference books in OneSearch.

Topics found in these reference materials often have Resources, Bibliographies or "Further Reading".

Electronic Reference

The following titles are available to search and read electronically. If you are off campus, you will be asked to input your Student credentials (student email address and password) to access items.

Article Databases (all subjects)

These databases will cover a wide range of topics and will yield articles on most any subject.

Books in the Library (books that check out)

Below are comparisons of some of the pro/con print sources available in the OC Library. When you see “Call numbers vary” in the location column, you’ll need to use OneSearch to find out the specific topics that are covered in each source/series. Do a keyword search, putting the series title in quotation marks.  For example, to see which topics are covered in Contemporary World Issues, enter our library catalog, and then type the following in the search box: “contemporary world issues series” You will get a list of all of the books in that series, including their locations on the shelves or if they are Available Online.

Print Reference

“Subject encyclopedias” can give you fantastic background information on a variety of topics. Find them by limiting your OneSearch Advanced Search to Reference materials.  Here are a few general suggestions for reference works that are physically located at the library:

Librarian Recommended Web sites

Here are a few suggested websites that break down social issues by topic and provide you with links to Internet resources that are specific to that topic, and which have first been reviewed by an actual person.