Opposing Viewpoints in Context Guide

Opposing Viewpoints in Context has lots of useful sources, it’s probably my favorite electronic resource that we have. The database design is very modern and REALLY helps you browse and explore topics, even when you aren’t sure where to start. It also includes overview articles to help you understand the major milestones, people and places of various topics. Click here for more details on databases and general database search techniques.

If you prefer a video tutorial, scroll to the bottom of this page for a basic overview video, and an advanced searching techniques video.

Some of our databases require a password for access. Find a complete list of e-resources and login passwords in the link below. Forgotten the password to open the password list? Come see me in the library or email me: smcnerneyoe@olatheschools.org. Click here for a video tutorial of the passwords page.


Searching Opposing Viewpoints In Context

I find it is easy to start in the “Browse Topics” heading

Once you have opened the Browse Topics page you can:

  • You can look at an entire alphabetical list of topics
  • Or you can choose a category from the dropdown menu
  • Each category will open another alphabetical list of topics

Topic Resource Organization

Once you have opened a topic (in this screenshot example: School Dress Codes) this database displays resources related to that topic. I generally suggest starting with the “Read More” in the topic homepage.

You can also seem more sources, divided into categories displayed in the bottom grey box as you scroll down the page. Pro-tip: “Viewpoints” are editorial articles, meaning they are written by authors with the intent of being persuasive.

Narrowing/limiting your search results

Once you have opened a source category (in this screenshot example I opened “News”) you can narrow/limit your results using the buttons in the right sidebar “Filter your Results” buttons.

You can also search for a specific topic within your sources. For example, there are 716 news articles about School Dress Codes. If I know that I am researching how female students are impacted specifically I can use the “search within” option in the right sidebar. Entering “female” will limit my results to only articles about School Dress Codes that ALSO contain the word “female.” In this example that reduces my number of articles to 78– which is much more manageable. See screenshot below:

Emailing Articles and other article tools

When you find a useful article EMAIL yourself a copy. It’s the easiest way to ensure you have access to the document later. Trust me, it can be a lifesaver if you need to reference it again later in your project.


The database will autogenerate source citations at the bottom of each source. You will need to make sure you select the correct style guide (MLA, APA, etc) that your teacher requires. Additionally, these citations are NOT checked by real humans! This means they are a great starting point, but to ensure accuracy you should check the autogenerated citation against the style guide to fix an errors in information or formatting.

MLA Formatting and Works Cited Resources

Opposing Viewpoints in Context Introductory Search Techniques Video

Introduction to using the Opposing Viewpoints Database

Introduction to using the Opposing Viewpoints Database
Specific times in the video:
Access link: 0:38
Potential Topic List: 1:43
Overview Article: 2:45
Highlights/Notes: 3:25
Email documents: 4:20
Resource types: 5:15
Narrow search results: 6:25
Sort search results: 7:25

Opposing Viewpoints in Context Advanced Search Techniques Video

See intro video for basics of accessing and using the database. Specific topics in this video:
0:30 Open a specific category of results in your topic
0:40 Sorting those results
1:10 Sorting using content levels
1:55 Limit search results by date
2:20 Search within those results for key words
3:50 Limit search results to publication title
5:45 Using subject terms to narrow or expand your search results

Published by Olathe East High School

Olathe East High School Librarian

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