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RQS: Current Events

Highlights resources for recent and controversial events and issues.   Show only highlighted/core resources

Assistance for Using This Guide

Information about online databases
Databases with restricted access
Subscription database access is available through all computers on the MCTC campus. From off campus, the databases are only available to current MCTC students, faculty and staff who log in.
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Full text resources
Databases containing the entire text of articles will be noted with this icon. Many databases have a combination of full text articles and article citations only (article citations will give you information about the article, but not the text of the article), so look carefully at your results.
Available in Full Text

Find Facts, Definitions, Overviews

Background & Overviews
CQ Researcher
    1991 - present
The perfect place to begin research on current topics. Includes complete summaries, insight into all sides of the issues, bibliographies and more. The basic CQ search screen includes a search of CQ Global Researcher.

Browsing CQ Researcher: a basic overview of the CQ Researcher and advice on how to search for topics, from the MCTC librarians.

Searching CQ Researcher Tutorial
Available in Full Text
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Issues & Controversies (
    1995 - present
Issues & Controversies @ contains the full backfile of Issues & Controversies On File, which has covered about 600 controversial topics in the news since its debut in September 1995. Chronologies, illustrations, maps, tables, sidebars, bibliographies and contact information augment the balanced coverage of current and historical events.

Browsing Issues and Controversies Tutorial

Searching Issues and Controversies Tutorial
Available in Full Text
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Opposing Viewpoints in Context (Thompson Gale)
Use this source to access viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles. Draws on the social issues series published by Greenhaven Press and core reference content from other Gale and Macmillan reference sources to provide a complete one-stop source for information on social issues.

Searching Opposing Viewpoints in Context Tutorial

Available in Full Text
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Handbooks and Manuals
Death and Dying: End-of-Life Controversies (Gale Virtual Reference Library)
A guide to the social issues of death and dying, that includes analysis and historical statistics.

Contents include: Death through the ages: a brief overview -- Redefining death -- The end of life: ethical considerations -- The end of life: medical considerations -- Seriously ill children -- Suicide, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide -- Advance directives -- Courts and the end of life -- The cost of health care -- Older adults -- Public opinion about life and death.
Available in Full Text
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Find Journal & Magazine Articles

Article Databases - Multiple Disciplines
Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost)
    Coverage varies, 1975 - present
With coverage spanning virtually every area of academic study, this database provides full text for more than 4,600 scholarly publications, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals.

Video tutorials:
Subject Term Searching

Keyword Searching
Available in Full Text
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Alt-Press Watch (ProQuest)
    Coverage varies, 1970 - present
Indexes alternative and independent press magazines, newspapers, and journals. All articles are full-text.

Video tutorials:

Available in Full Text
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Expanded Academic ASAP (Gale)
Includes over 4,200 indexed titles, over 2,500 of which are full-text and many are peer-reviewed, - in all disciplines including social sciences, humanities, education, science and technology.
Available in Full Text
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Points of View Reference Center
Points of View Reference Centerâ„¢ is a full-text database designed to provide students with a series of essays that present multiple sides of a current issue. The database profiles 255 topics, each with an overview, point, counterpoint, and Critical Thinking Guide. Topics are supported by the main essays, articles from leading political magazines, newspapers, radio and TV news transcripts, primary source documents, and reference books.

See a brief (3 minute) video tutorial for an overview of how to use this database.
Available in Full Text
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Find Multimedia (Images, Audio, Video)

Video Resources
C-SPAN Video Library
"The C-SPAN Archives records, indexes, and archives all C-SPAN programming for historical, educational, research, and archival uses. Every C-SPAN program aired since 1987, now totaling over 160,000 hours, is contained in the C-SPAN Archives and immediately accessible through the database and electronic archival systems developed and maintained by the C-SPAN Archives.
"The Archives records all three C-SPAN networks seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Programs are extensively indexed making the database of C-SPAN programming an unparalleled chronological resource. Programs are indexed by subject, speaker names, titles, affiliations, sponsors, committees, categories, formats, policy groups, keywords, and location. The congressional sessions and committee hearings are indexed by person with full-text. The video collection can be searched through the online Video Library.
"All C-SPAN programs since 1987 are digital and can be viewed online for free. " [From 'About' description on website]
Frontline (PBS)
"Since 1983, FRONTLINE has served as American public television's flagship public affairs series. Hailed upon its debut on PBS as "the last best hope for broadcast documentaries," FRONTLINE's stature over 28 seasons is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human experience." [From Frontline 'About us']

Find News Articles

News Digest (Online)
World News Digest (
    1940 - present
Facts On File's World News Digest answers questions about events, issues, statistics and people. From here you can also link to other reference databases - Issues & Controversies, Today's Science,and the online World Almanac Encyclopedia.
Available in Full Text
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News Sources
CQ Weekly
    1983 - present
Provides non-partisan news and analysis from Capitol Hill and includes coverage of U.S. Congressional activities such as status of bills, votes and amendments, floor and committee activity, and congressional member profiles.
Available in Full Text
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ProQuest Newsstand Complete
    Coverage varies, 1980's - present
Full-text of over 750 newspapers from the United States and around the world. Coverage begins in the 1980's and 1990's.

Both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press may be searched individually. (The Pioneer Press only goes back to April 21, 2010, while the Star Tribune goes back to 1986.)

Video tutorials:

Available in Full Text
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_Google News
This Google feature allows you to target online news sources. Best for finding very current, fast-breaking information. Be aware that much archived news information will not be freely available on the web. MCTC students and staff - use the ProQuest Newspapers or New York Times Historical databases (both require authentication) for a wide variety of archived news sources.
Science News (Online)
AccessScience (McGraw-Hill)
Primarily the online edition of the McGraw-Hill Science and Technology Encyclopedia, this database also has a section of science news. Look for the news tab. Also includes science images and videos.
Available in Full Text
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BBC News - Science/Nature
" The BBC is a unique institution, owned by the British people and independent of political and commercial interests. The BBC's purpose - largely unchanged in 80 years - is to enrich the life of every person in the UK with programmes that inform, educate and entertain." [Publisher information]
Today's Science (
    1992 - present
Today's Science @ presents and enhances the full backfile of Today's Science On File, a permanent record of the significant developments in science and technology published monthly since September 1992.
Available in Full Text
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Find Print & Online Books

MCTC Online Library Catalog
MCTC Library Catalog
Use the online catalog to search for books (and other resources such as DVDs, videos, & CDs). The catalog includes items physically located in the MCTC library, as well as online resources such as e-books.

Video tutorials:
All About Books

Basic Searching

Advanced Searching

Author Title Publisher Searching

Find Statistics

Statistical Resources
Minnesota Compass
Minnesota Compass is a social indicators project that measures progress in our state, its seven regions, 87 counties and larger cities. Compass tracks trends in topic areas such as education, economy and workforce, health, housing, public safety, and a host of others. [from About - The Project]

You can go directly to a page showing major trends in MN, or look at specific topics on the top banner. The Mn Compass Project is led by Wilder Research, a division of the non-profit Wilder Foundation.
U.S. Energy Information Administration
"The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment." [From About Us]

Find Style Manuals and Writing Guides

Style Manuals
MCTC Library MLA Style Guide
This guide demonstrates how to prepare citations for the types of sources most often included in a list of works cited, including both print and electronic resources.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
7th edition (new): "Annotated illustrations demonstrate how actual print and electronic sources are treated in research and documentation. Expanded, updated guidelines clarify the use and citation of online materials, including articles from subscription databases like EBSCO." [Publisher's information]
Location: Reference Collection -- 1st Floor LB2369 .G53 2009
Check Catalog

Find Web Resources

Fact Check
"A nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding." [Website 'About Us' description]
WatchBlog includes brief excerpts and links to blogs from the three general political perspectives: Democrats & Liberals, Third Party & Independents, Republicans & Conservatives.
Gateways & Megasites
" economic information portal. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis librarians designed this site with university and government document librarians, students, and the general public in mind. Economic information can, at times, be difficult for the non-economist to find and understand. We hope this site will provide a single point of access to the economic information that the Federal Reserve System, other government agencies, and data providers have to offer. We specifically selected non-technical sources that would be simpler to use and easier to understand." [Publisher information]

This site is a good source for statistics based on economic measures, as well as research publications on economic topics.
Official Agency and Organization Web Sites
CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the nation’s public health agency, a component of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of the CDC is "to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability." The site has a great deal of information on health & safety topics, statistics (also by topic) and links to publications.
A federal government Website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to provide information on newly enacted health care legislation.
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), formerly the International Poverty Centre, is a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme and the Brazilian Government. Information and publications on this site cover world-wide issues of poverty and development.

"In the 'Publications' area, visitors can look through their in-house magazine, 'In-Focus', policy briefs on topics like land reform and public utilities, and their 'One Pager' series. For persons with a general interest in policy matters, the 'One Pager' series is a great place to start as these short papers are written in non-technical language for a wide audience." [KMG, Internet Scout Report, 5/9/08]
Minnesota State Demographic Center
The Minnesota State Demographic Center analyzes and distributes data from state reports, the U.S. Census and other sources. Check here for information on Minnesota populations, immigration, employment and other statistics.
Population Reference Bureau
The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. PRB's work is funded by private foundations, government agencies, and individual donors, and we frequently collaborate with other nonprofit organizations and universities.

Key features include: The population handbook (a quick guide to population dynamics), reports, population bulletins and a graphics bank.
THOMAS - U.S. National Legislative Information
Legislative information from the Library of Congress: "THOMAS was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public." [Publisher information] Search for current and historical bills and resolutions, house and senate votes, and much more.
United States Department of Health and Human Services
"The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves."

"The Department of Health and Human Services includes more than 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities. Some highlights include:
* Health and social science research
* Assuring food and drug safety
* Medicare (health insurance for elderly and disabled Americans)
* Medicaid (health insurance for low-income people)
* Head Start (pre-school education and services)
* Faith-based and community initiatives
* Preventing child abuse and domestic violence
* Substance abuse treatment and prevention." [Website "About HHS" description]
American Council on Science and Health
ACSH is a national, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) consumer health education and advocacy organization based in New York City. ACSH's mission is to ensure that peer-reviewed mainstream science reaches the public, the media, and the decision-makers who determine public policy. Our objective is to restore science and common sense to personal and public health decisions, in order to foster a scientifically sound and sensible public health policy for the American people. [From About Us]
Bioethics Forum
Bioethics Forum ..."seeks to promote smart, graceful, probing commentary on issues in bioethics – patient care, health policy, medical science and research, biotechnology, the beginnings and endings of life, and environment and health." [Publisher information]

The Forum is a service of the Hastings Center Report, a journal focusing on ethical issues in medicine. While not a blog, the Bioethics Forum also provides links to blogs on numerous ethics-related topics.
Center for Public Integrity
"The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world."

"The mission of the Center for Public Integrity is to produce original investigative journalism about significant public issues to make institutional power more transparent and accountable." [Publisher's statement from 'About Us', web.]
"Launched in 2006, is a project of OMB Watch, a nongovernmental agency that works to increase government transparency and accountability. All data is collected from United States government sources, with the largest providers being the Federal Procurement Data System for federal contracts and the Federal Assistance Award Data System for federal financial assistance (e.g., grants and loans)." [From Best Free Reference Websites: Twelfth Annual List., Reference & User Services Quarterly; Fall2010]
" provides comprehensive government-wide information on seasonal, H1N1 (swine), H5N1 (bird) and pandemic influenza for the general public, health and emergency preparedness professionals, policy makers, government and business leaders, school systems, and local communities." [From About Us]
Migration Information Source
An online journal from the Migration Policy Institute, "an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide."

Contains articles, statistics, maps and news related to migration.
Minnesota 2020
"Minnesota 2020 was established in June 2007 as a nonpartisan progressive think tank focused on the issues that matter. We focus on good ideas for education, health care, economic development, and transportation." [Description from website]
Minnesota Issues
"These guides to information resources are compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library on topics of interest to Minnesota legislators. They are designed to provide an introduction to a topic, directing the user to a variety of sources, and are not intended to be exhaustive. In particular, the resources guides focus on items available in the Legislative Reference Library." [Publisher information] However, note that many of these resources have online links to full reports.
New York Times Politcs
The New York Times web page with a focus on current politics has election-related news, opinions and blog links.
OFFSTATS: Official Statistics on the Web
This website provides a source for free official statistical websites from around the world (including the United States.) Use the pull-down menus to search by country, region, and/or topic.
Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
"The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, launched in 2001, seeks to promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs. The Forum pursues its mission by delivering timely, impartial information to national opinion leaders, including government officials and journalists. As a nonpartisan, non-advocacy organization, the Forum does not take positions on policy debates. The Forum functions as both an information clearinghouse and a town hall. As a clearinghouse it tracks and aggregates news and conducts independent research, including surveys, legal backgrounders, reports, books and Q&A interviews." [from About the forum, publisher information]
"This online public opinion site publishes the results of current polls conducted by US public survey organizations such as NPR, Fox News, Harris, and Gallup. It allows free access to national data..." (State data is available to paid subscribers only.) [Choice Reviews Online 2/2008]

A well-organized and easy to use site for finding public opinion polling results. -- Pros and Cons of Controversial Issues
"This site takes a look at both sides of 40 controversial issues in many areas, including business, education, health, law, entertainment, politics, religion, science, and sports.'s mission is to promote "critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format." For each issue, a core question is posed along with the top ten pro and con statements regarding the issue, little known facts, a historical timeline, and often a glossary. The sources of quotes are linked to individual biographies with additional information. A Teachers' corner provides lesson plan ideas, and tabs and facets make the site easy to navigate. Information provided is for multiple ages and reading levels." [from Best Free Reference, RUSQ F 2011]