Social Issues Resources

Initial Research
These resources will give many student researchers a solid foundation of background and opinion on many issues. Starting with these resources is strongly recommended. (Scroll to last heading for additional topic selection suggestions if needed.)

Gale: Opposing Viewpoints

Begin your research with articles from the "Reference" tab for background info and the "Viewpoints" section for pros and cons. NOTE: CLICK "Reference", "Viewpoints", etc. for additional items in each category.

Pros and cons of controversial issues. Arguments for and against more than 50 social issue topics.

McLennan Guide to Current & Controversial Issues

McLennan Community College directory of resources on selected controversial issues topics

More Starting Points AND Deeper Research

Just Facts: Resource for Independent Thinkers

Deep factual research on a limited number of critical public policy issues of our time.

CQ Researcher Online

In-depth coverage of topical issues written by experienced journalists, footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Choose most current, most relevant posting and scan headings for specific information

Our World in Data

Hundreds of topics from nutrition, to education, economics, lifespan, alcohol use, domestic violence, and more measured over time and across the globe. A great resource to see how our country and our world is changing. Research by topic - Use tabs to jump to specific data. . .

Gale PowerSearch

Includes Student Resources, Opposing Viewpoints, and more. Search encyclopedias, other reference sources, business journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. for all Gale databases provided by NOVEL NY subscription.

News and Public Information Resources
There are many resources available on the internet and in print and on TV that provide us with news, and comment upon or interpretation of the news and current events. Some treat information relatively objectively (without bias) but many sources skew toward left or right.

Media Bias Chart

Consider this Media Bias chart when using popular news sources.

AllSides - News & Research Website

Don’t be fooled by media bias and fake news. We display the day’s top news stories from the Left, Center and Right of the political spectrum — side-by-side so you can decide the truth for yourself. -- Use search bar to focus on your topic

The Week - Newsmagazine and Website

The Week reports and explains issues from all angles, providing news and editorial commentary with a center bias.

Lobbyists & Advocacy Groups
By definition these groups support an agenda and promote their views through lobbying, advertising, news, and their websites.

OpenSecrets : Influence & Lobbying

OpenSecrets's Influence & Lobbying section shows the money trail and more about Washington's influence industry and its most powerful players. Site also focuses on specific issues and elected officials in other tabs.

Vanderbilt : Public Policy Issues and Groups

A directory, by subject area, of more than 100 public policy issues with links to government sites, interest group and other political sites, research centers and other educational sites.

Issues & Campaigns

The Leadership Conference works on a wide range of issues representative of the breadth of today's civil rights movement.

Public Opinion
By nature, public opinion sources are biased and possibly inaccurate. Polls conducted by major companies tend to provide accurate analysis but represent the views of specific cohorts.

A nonpartisan consolidator of polling data from other major polling sites including Pew, Gallop, Wall Street Journal, and many other national and international polling services.


Gallup.Com provides data-driven news based on U.S. and world polls, daily tracking and public opinion research. Articles and videos cover news, politics, economy, behavioral economics, wellbeing, world issues, management, and employee engagement.

Pew Research Center

A nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling,

I Side With ... Current views on issues

We receive over a million unique answers to our political issues survey per day. Check out the most popular political polls on social, domestic, academic, economic, electoral, criminal, environmental, health care, science, foreign policy, national security, and other issues.

Government Actions - Current Laws


To learn about existing laws on the books, FindLaw's 'Learn About the Law' section is a very useful starting point with informational articles about a wide variety of legal topics. Use the directory menu or the "Search FindLaw" box at upper right corner. - Commonly Requested U.S. Laws and Regulations

Quick links to info on some of the most commonly requested U.S. laws & regulations.

USA Search -

The U.S. government's official web portal; makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. [Search just like Google, using the same type of keywords and narrowing tools you would with Google]

Google Scholar - Case Law

Choose "Case Law" under search bar in Google Scholar to search actual U.S. Federal and state laws around the nation.

Google Search -- "current laws on ____"

Use Google Google to search current laws on your topic. Remember that Wikipedia may not be used as a source. Also recognize that some information providers will be very biased in reporting. Look for the best quality resources available.

Government Actions - Legislative Actions | Library of Congress

U.S. Congress legislation, Congressional Record debates, Members of Congress, legislative process educational resources presented by the Library of Congress

Bills and Resolutions --

Private / Non government aligned repository and search for legislation (bills and resolutions) in the U.S. Congress.

NYS Assembly | Bills and Legislative Search

Full Text of all New York State Bills since 1999. [Search can only be conducted one legislative year at a time (For all bills in last five years, must conduct five separate searches.) Search by "Bill Number" if you know it, but change to "Keyword" search for all bills on a topic.]

State Legislature Websites

Links to legislative information for each of the U.S. states and territories.

National Conference of State Legislatures

Provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on state issues. [Use this site to compare laws and policies of multiple states. Use tabs to find in-depth analysis on key topics. Use the Search Bar, and specifically Advanced Search to narrow keyword search results to manageable levels.]

The White House |

Search for the President's initiatives or orders on many policies. Use the search bar to locate your topic.

Topic Selection
Check out resources below for ideas about possible topics. Some resources include guiding questions or reference information on the topics.

Gale: Opposing Viewpoints

List of potential social issue topics with links to facts and arguments about each

Topic List - includes links to reference and opinion describing both sides of each issue

Topic List

List of topics sorted by category, (e.g. environment, education, law, etc). Includes sample research questions for some topics.

Questia -- Use for topic selection only!

Hundreds of topics sorted by category (e.g. education, law, politics, etc). Click on "Sociology and Anthropology" and then scroll down and click "Social Issues" to limit specifically to topics considered social issues. (NOTE: LINKED RESOURCES ARE NOT AVAILABLE WITHOUT SUBSCRIPTION)

Research Organizer / Works Cited

NoodleTools Notecards and Citations

Use this great tool to create, organize, and print Works Cited. Can also be used to organize project notes, create outlines, and more

In-Text Citations / Parenthetical References

Basic instructions for in-text references. This is the most important part of a citation. Give credit for all words, thoughts, and ideas that are not your own, whether they are quoted directly or paraphrased. [If it is not common knowledge, it must be cited]