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Where to Look for Paper Topics: Research Guide on Where to Find Paper Topics

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Opposing Viewpoints in Context - Covers today’s hottest social issues, from Offshore Drilling to Climate Change, Health Care to Immigration. (off-campus access)

Newsbank – Hot Topics and Special Reports include Fidel Castro, terrorism, and world health issues. Links are on the left column of the screen.

Facts On File World News Digest - Look under the "Need A Research Topic?" section.

AP Multimedia Archive – headlines for the past week in several categories – entertainment, sports, business, world, etc. Select AP Multimedia Archive under the Journals and Images heading.

Sociological Abstracts – Discovery Guides
All topic areas not just sociology.

Current Periodicals

Current Periodical Resources

These resources are current periodicals located on the first floor, Fintel Library, east side.

Vital Speeches of the Day

Congressional Digest – presents pro and con of various topics before Congress

New York Times newspaper Tuesday edition – Science & Health issues special section

Scan the cover stories of current issues of periodicals.


These are book series on different current topics. Conduct a title search in the online catalog to determine specific titles and call numbers. For example, to locate all the titles in the Opposing Viewpoints series, select Title search and type Opposing Viewpoints.

Opposing Viewpoints series - eco-architecture, bioterrorism, and hunting are topics of recent editions.

Contemporary World Issues – emergency management, rich and poor in America, and waste management.

Contemporary Education Issues – recent titles discuss school vouchers and migrant education.

Conduct a title search then limit to published after 2010 to retrieve the recent titles.

Reference Resources

All reference books are on the first floor, Fintel Library.

Browse a subject encyclopedia in an area of interest. For example, to browse topics in philosophy, use the online catalog Words search. Select Advanced searching. Type philosophy in the top box. Look for the Location box. Select RC Reference. Submit search. This will retrieve a list of encyclopedias and handbook for browsing. Use fairly broad subjects for this type of search.

Another way to locate reference titles for browsing is to use the same Library of Congress Call number used to locate circulating books. For example, circulating books in chemistry are in the QD call letter range on the 3rd floor. Chemistry reference books are located by browsing the reference stacks on the 1st floor under QD.

Subject Guide

Piper Cumbo
220 High Street
Salem, VA 24153