Issues & Controversies

Issues & Controversies

The place to go to prepare for a debate, discussion, research paper, or persuasive writing assignment

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About This Product

Featuring a dynamic design and a wealth of features, Issues & Controversies helps researchers understand today’s crucial issues by exploring hundreds of hot topics in politics, government, business, society, education, and popular culture. Our Issue and Article pages make it simple to see all of the available content in one place; thousands of editorials and opinions from renowned newspaper sources via NewsEdge keep researchers on top of trending topics; and our enhanced navigation and search results and improved organization and taxonomy give users an intuitive and user-friendly research experience. Updated weekly, with an extensive backfile, Issues & Controversies offers in-depth articles—each presenting both sides of an issue clearly, coherently, and without bias—made to inspire thought-provoking debates. Its straightforward presentation of the key facts, arguments, history, and current context of today’s most important and timely issues makes the database an ideal resource for research papers, debate preparation, and persuasive writing assignments. The articles are written by our own expert writers and editors, and each article includes a full range of supporting materials.

  • Extensive, objective, and comprehensive coverage: Issues & Controversies features timely, in-depth articles covering complex, hot-button issues in politics, government, business, society, education, and popular culture. Designed to inspire thought-provoking debates, each article presents both sides of an issue clearly and without bias.
  • Pro and con statements: Each Issues & Controversies article presents clear pro/con statements that highlight the main arguments on each side of the controversy, presenting a quick, balanced, and succinct synopsis from supporters and opponents and allowing users to explore all of the controversies related to each issue in one place.
  • Original videos and instructor support materials: Selected hot-button issues in Issues & Controversies feature overview videos to introduce the topic and exclusive Educator Resources to extend the lesson beyond the articles. Educator Resources include overviews, learning objectives, printable handouts (such as self-assessments with answer keys), discussion questions, and much more.
  • Debate videos: Issues & Controversies includes compelling, thought-provoking, Oxford-style debate videos from the renowned Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Series, featuring some of the most prominent political figures, journalists, academics, and experts in the United States and throughout the world on a wide range of crucial topics in areas such as crime, law, and justice; economy, money, and business; education; energy and the environment; families and youth; global issues and world affairs; government and politics; health and medicine; race, rights, and liberties; science and technology; and society and culture.
  • QuickTake videos: Issues & Controversies features short, succinct overview videos produced by the global information and technology company Bloomberg that cover major topics such as immigration, climate change, marijuana legalization, the opioid crisis, and e-cigarettes.
  • Editorials: For a broader perspective on contemporary events and conflicts, Issues & Controversies features thousands of editorials and opinions via NewsEdge from prominent newspapers and magazines worldwide and across the political spectrum—including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, Houston ChronicleJerusalem PostChina DailyNation, and Atlantic.
  • Audio content: Issues & Controversies features editorially curated and selected National Public Radio (NPR) audio recordings and podcasts—including episodes of NPR’s Fresh Air and On Point—linked directly to specific articles to enhance context, understanding, and research. Along with the original recordings, many feature transcripts of the entire broadcast or selected highlights.
  • Infographics: Issues & Controversies includes more than 150 stand-alone infographics, presenting vast amounts of information in easy-to-access charts, graphs, and tables that make it simple for users to visualize statistics and quickly grasp essential ideas.
  • Rich related resources: Issues & Controversies contains a topic-based Reuters® newsfeed, editorial cartoons, timelines, primary sources, speeches, congressional testimony, newspaper editorials, and discussion questions that prompt researchers to do their own critical thinking and analysis.
  • Curriculum Tools: This section in Issues & Controversies features writing and research tips for students and educators, including:
    • Advice on analyzing historical documents, evaluating online sources, and more
    • Tips on presenting research, including avoiding plagiarism, citing sources, summarizing articles, writing research papers, and writing and delivering speeches
    • Educator tools, including advice on assessing students’ speeches and interviews, exploring point of view with students, holding a town hall meeting, preventing plagiarism, using editorial cartoons in class, and debates.
  • Primary sources: Issues & Controversies includes original documents with introductory para­graphs that provide context and background to the sources—perfect for strengthening critical-thinking skills.
  • Court cases: Issues & Controversies contains original, searchable stand-alone articles that summarize key court cases—including those decided by the U.S. Supreme Court—on major issues in contemporary society, including abortion and reproductive rights, affirmative action, animal rights, capital punishment, drugs, gun control, health care, immigration, racial profiling, and more. Each article explains the background of the case, the legal issues it raised, the court’s decision, and its impact.
  • Bill of Rights in Debate: Many of the issues covered by Issues & Controversies deal with constitutional questions; however, the various sides in a debate often interpret what the Constitution says differently. The “Bill of Rights in Debate” section deepens understanding of the U.S. Constitution in contemporary life by linking Issues & Controversies articles directly to constitutional rights.
  • Presidential Elections and Administrations: Issues & Controversies provides comprehensive background articles on all presidential races since 1996—including articles about the candidates’ views on campaign issues, party platforms, and excerpts from convention speeches—and the presidencies of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump.

  • Issues from the headlines, covering the most controversial issues of the 21st century, including abortion, capital punishment, drug legalization, energy and climate change, gun control, health care, immigration, racial profiling, and world poverty
  • Thousands of links to key news stories, timelines, primary source documents, and additional resources giving researchers context, insight, and perspective
  • Searchable Reuters® newsfeed, updated hourly, giving students access to the latest news and headlines
  • “By the Numbers,” offering statistical material with every article and issue
  • Background Encyclopedia content
  • Comprehensive chronologies and overview articles
  • Enhanced filters, Search Assist technology, and suggested search terms
  • Read Aloud tool
  • Google Translate for 100+ languages
  • Ability to download text articles as PDFs
  • Enhanced Save-to-Folder functionality
  • Dynamic citations in MLA, Chicago, and APA formats, with EasyBib and NoodleTools export functionality
  • Searchable Support Center with valuable help materials, how-to tips, tutorials, and live help chat.

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy—Homelessness

Featured in Issues & Controversies: HOMELESSNESS: Is the “Housing First” Approach the Best Way to Fight Homelessness? SUPPORTERS ARGUE Housing First is an effective and proven solution to combating homelessness. Providing homeless people with permanent housing without barriers or pr…read more →

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy, SPECIAL EDITION—Coronavirus

Featured in Issues & Controversies: CORONAVIRUS: Are Quarantines and Travel Restrictions Appropriate Responses to COVID-19? SUPPORTERS ARGUE Quarantines and travel bans help slow the spread of the disease, giving countries more time to prepare and, ultimately, saving lives. The coronavirus cons…read more →

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy—Socialism

Featured in Issues & Controversies: SOCIALISM: Should the United States Embrace Socialist Policies? SUPPORTERS ARGUE Socialism can restore dignity to the lives of American workers. For too long, hard-toiling Americans have suffered from debt and deprivation while the rich get richer and rig the…read more →

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy—Climate Change

Featured in Issues & Controversies: CLIMATE CHANGE: Should the U.S. Government Take Aggressive Steps to Combat Climate Change? SUPPORTERS ARGUE As one of the world’s leading polluters, the United States has a responsibility to lead the fight against climate change. Policies such as cap an…read more →

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy—Impeachment

Featured in Issues & Controversies: IMPEACHMENT: Should the U.S. Senate Convict President Donald Trump of the Articles of Impeachment Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives? SUPPORTERS ARGUE President Trump is guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. By soliciting foreign inte…read more →

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy—Medicare for All

Featured in Issues & Controversies: MEDICARE FOR ALL: Should the U.S. Government Replace Private Medical Insurance with a National “Medicare for All” Health Care Program? SUPPORTERS ARGUE Health care is a human right, yet many Americans cannot afford it because of out-of-control cos…read more →

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy—Red Flag Laws

Featured in Issues & Controversies: RED FLAG LAWS: Should Courts Confiscate Guns from People They Deem a Danger to Themselves or Others? SUPPORTERS ARGUE It is common sense to allow courts to remove guns from people who family members or police suspect pose a danger to themselves or others. Red…read more →

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy—Brexit

Featured in Issues & Controversies: BREXIT: Will Leaving the European Union Benefit the United Kingdom? SUPPORTERS ARGUE The European Union is a bloated, undemocratic organization corrosive to national sovereignty. Brexit will allow the United Kingdom to boost its economic competitiveness, reas…read more →

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy—Populism

Featured in Issues & Controversies: POPULISM: Are Populist Movements Good for Liberal Democracy? SUPPORTERS ARGUE Populism stems from the failure of mainstream political parties to address the concerns of average voters, and populist movements are essential for the health of democracy. The peop…read more →

Issues & Controversies: Featured Controversy—E-Cigarettes and Vaping

Featured in Issues & Controversies: E-CIGARETTES AND VAPING: Should the Federal Government Strictly Regulate the E-Cigarette Industry? SUPPORTERS ARGUE E-cigarettes and other vaping products are potentially harmful to public health, and the federal government needs to carefully scrutinize them …read more →

“No other database in my library had [this] kind of use…Issues & Controversies was the top database for results (at the best price) that we subscribed to last year.”

Micaela Ayers, Director, Libraries & Archives, Butler Community College, El Dorado State, KS

“This database is a nice addition to [Infobase’s] family of online products…Recommended.”


“…accessible and easy to navigate and will be useful to students working on research projects.”

American Reference Books Annual

“Access to a wide variety of controversial issues will provide students with the building blocks for forming their own opinions, leading to thoughtful research papers and debates. The content and presentation are impressive…will give the [competition] a run for its money among high school, community college, and college libraries.”

Library Journal