This is the "Social Policy 335 Guide Spring 2014" page of the "Researching Social Policy" guide.
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Researching Social Policy  

Last Updated: Sep 1, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Social Policy 335 Guide Spring 2014 Print Page

Notes from 2/27/14 session

For information on evaluating the point of view of publications, see

How To Understand the Bias of a Publication in Points of View Reference.

To find out if a particular journal is available through Lasell databases or in print in the Brennan Library , use

Journal Locator

To request an article through Interlibrary Loan, fill out

Article Request Form

To search for books in the entire Minuteman Library Network

Use  Library Catalog Search menu.


Online Resources for Social Policy Research

These three databases available through the Brennan Library's Article Databases and E-Books link are good places to begin your research.

Points of View Reference Center. This resouce presents multiple points of view on current topics, such as affirmative action, human trafficking, Social Security privatization, and many more. Discussion of each topic includes an Overview (objective background/description), a Point (argument), a Counterpoint (opposing argument) and a Guide to Critical Analysis.

Additional materials include articles from leading political magazines (both liberal and conservative perspectives), newspapers, radio and TV news transcripts, primary source documents, and reference books. Students can search for a particular topic or browse topics to get ideas.  

See a tutorial on using PVR here. It's only 4 minutes long and it's helpful.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is another resource that represents viewpoints from both sides of controversial issues. For each topic, OVP provides an OverviewFeatured Viewpoints, and additional Viewpoints, as well as other articles divided by type of source, such as Academic Journals, Newspapers, etc.  

See a tutorial on using OVP here. This tutorial is from another library; information useful for us stops at the 2.20 point.

CQ Researcher 's  Full Reports for selected topics are a wonderful resource, including Overviews, Background, Pro/Con statements, suggestions for additional reading, and links to past and related articles.See a CQ Researcher tutorial here.


Research Tips

  1. If a database is new to you, take time to explore it at the beginning -- knowing that you can3 mail yourself a PDF, for example, will save time later on.
  2. Check the dates of articles you're reading. If the artice is more than a few months old, check newer resources for recent big events. (For example, CQ Researcher's Full Report on Gay Marriage was published on March 15, 2013, and does not include information on the Supreme Court's June, 2013 decisions.
  3. As you take notes, make sure to keep track of sources of any material you paraphrase or quote. You will need the information prepare the citations and reference list for your final paper. See the guide Using APA Style.

Need help? Ask a Librarian!

The staff of the Brennan Library is here to help you

When you have questions, you can come to the library, or call or email library staff: Click here for current library hours.

Call Us:
Email Us:

If you'd like to speak with me directly, you can usually find me at the Reference Desk at Brennan Monday-Thursday 4 PM-9PM, or you can email me  at

Pam Matz, Reference and Instruction Librarian


Library Barcode

When you are accessing Lasell online resources away from the college, you will need to log in with your library barcode. The barcode is the14 digit number beginning with 23015 on the back of your ID card.


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