Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Database of the Week: Points of View

This week's database is Points of View Reference Center, which is a full text database that provides a series of essays presenting multiple sides of current issues. According to the product's website, the database provides more than 280 topics, each with an overview (objective background/description), point (argument), counterpoint (opposing arguments), and Critical Thinking Guide.

There are a few different ways to find information about a topic. The first is to conduct a search in the search box at the top of the homepage. This is a basic search. The next way to find information is to use the advanced search link at the top of the homepage. This will allow users to search for topics and narrow results based on characteristics such as document type, date range, and whether or not the results are peer-reviewed. The final way to find information is to use the tabs provided on the homepage and browse by category or view all topics. The topical browsing is a good way to find out available information on a topic that interests you.

Once you have selected a topic, you will be taken to another tabbed page that has different types of results. The topic you choose may not have every type of results, but many of them have essays, periodicals, newspapers, books, radio & TV news transcripts, primary source documents, and images. Some topics also have related charts and graphs that can be used as visual aids in presentations.

Along with presenting essays about current issues, Points of View also offers research guides on topics such as creating an essay outline, writing a topic sentence, and evaluating a website. These short research guides are great for anyone looking for introductory information or for those who simply need a refresher over the topics. As with all of our databases, check the database's help files if you need more information or ask a librarian for help. Next week's database of the week (and final one in the series) will be Tell Me More.

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