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Using Databases at Oakton

Learn how to get the most out of commonly searched Oakton Library databases.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a database focusing on controversial or contemporary social issues. The database provides position papers written by experts, background information on topics, articles from traditional and online sources relating to the topic, statistics, and much more. Resources are organized by type and can provide an excellent overview and context for a wide range of topics. Some general tips:

  • Keep your searches simple, using just one or two keywords.
  • You can also use the Advanced Search page to limit in other ways, such as by date or general topic.
  • Pay attention to the date of the articles--if the articles are too old, they may not be useful.
  • You can use Opposing Viewpoints to help you find topics for research or writing. Use the Browse functions or explore links on the homepage for ideas about thought-provoking, debatable topics.

Access more detailed directions and videos below.

Click the link below to begin searching Opposing Viewpoints. (You will need to log in with your myOakton username and password if you are off campus.)

Jump to: Searching | Results | Article


To search Opposing Viewpoints:

  • Use the search box near the top of the page to perform a keyword search, using simple one or two word phrases.
  • Use the “Advanced Search” link under the main search box to access more search options, including limiting by date range, content type, and more.

opposing viewpoints search screen

  • If you are searching for topic ideas, continue scrolling down the main page for featured articles and articles organized by broad headings.
  • Click on the “Browse Topics” link to get a list of popular topics in the database.

opposing viewpoints browsing options


When you reach an Opposing Viewpoints Topic page or a results list:

  • The Topic pages include an introduction written from Opposing Viewpoints as well as an aggregation of other content (articles, videos, etc.) about this topic collected by Opposing Viewpoints. To read the full Introduction, click on “Read More.”
  • Use the “On This Page” navigation panel along the right side of the screen to jump to the type of sources you want. You can also scroll down the page to begin browsing each category.

opposing viewpoints topic page

  • Click on the titles of individual sources to open up the full article, image, or video.

opposing viewpoints topic content type


Once you have opened either the Opposing Viewpoints Introduction or any other individual article or resource:

  • Print or email the article to yourself by clicking "Print" or "E-mail" along the right side of the screen (under “Tools”).
  • Get a formatted citation by clicking “Citation Tools” along the right side of the screen (under “Tools”). Just select the desired style (APA, Chicago/Turabian, MLA, etc.) from the options given.
  • Listening options: Scroll down the page to access the audio player right before the text of the article. Clicking on “Listen” will read the full article out loud. The player also includes the option to pause, stop, download an MP3 of the audio, and more. 

opposing viewpoints article

Opposing Viewpoints Articles

Opposing Viewpoints includes a number of categories of information within each issue.

Featured Viewpoints: Highlights some of the most popular or noteworthy Viewpoints papers (see below).

Academic Journals: An article from an academic journal written for a knowledgeable audience by an expert.

Viewpoints: Essays that express a particular point of view, pro or con. These are not usually journal or magazine articles, but are rather position papers written by an expert.

Primary Sources: First-hand accounts of the event, practices, or conditions.

Reference: Articles from specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries or other sources that provides background information or an overview of related topics.

Images, Video, and Audio: Provides multimedia content on the topic from news sources, documentaries, radio, podcasts, etc.

News: An article from a news source such as a newspaper, news wires, etc.

Magazines: An article from a magazine written for a general audience by a journalist.

Statistics: Raw data, charts, and/or graphs about the topic.

Websites: Reliable websites selected by Opposing Viewpoints professionals relating to the topic.

Related Topics: Links to other Opposing Viewpoints materials that relate to the current topic.

Video: Opposing Viewpoints

Click on the square on the bottom right for "Full Screen" to see a larger version of this video. Click [CC] for subtitles/closed captions.
Length: 1:30