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As you begin your research, you may want to gather some basic background information on your topics from reference sources available online or in print.
Use "Points of View" resources
To get a sense of the popular debate surrounding your topics, check the "Opposing Viewpoints" and "Points of View" databases. You may find a concise summary of the issue along with a useful bibliography of additional resources. Note: these are not scholarly resources; but they may lead you to some scholarly resources.
Contextual information and opinions on hundreds of today's hottest social issues. The new solution features continuously updated viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites organized into a user-friendly portal experience
Coverage of 270 topics with overviews, point and counterpoint essays, and Critical Thinking Guides for further research.
Use the library's Discovery System to search for books (or articles) containing background information on the state of health care, food, housing, and education in the United States. The "limit" options within the system allow you to select the kind of resources you want.
Discovery Search Box
Use online reference sources
Use either of these resources, either to search across a set of reference books for background information on general concepts or specific terms or search within a specific e-book (see suggestions below).
"a comprehensive reference work with over 1700 entries ranging from fifty to five hundred words covering topics such as anthropology, sociology, economics, political science, cultural studies, human and cultural geography, and Marxism."