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Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a great database to use to find background information about a wide range of issues including social issues.
Opposing Viewpoints In Context (Gale) This link opens in a new window
Contains a range of perspectives on many important issues, with over 13,000 pro/con viewpoints. Provided by the New York State Library, NOVELNY.
Encyclopedias are an excellent source for obtaining background information before starting one's research paper.
All encyclopedias below are are available online by clicking on the title.