Most of us are already familiar with keyword searching. We type any word or words we think will give us results into a Google-like search box and voila! we have search results. Usually lots and lots of search results. With a keyword search you almost always get something to work with, but much of it may be only marginally valuable if worth anything at all to your research. Fortunately, most databases offer you the opportunity to identify subjects/descriptors from your search results and use those terms to redo your search, resulting in a smaller, more targeted set of search results.
See some suggested search terms for social issues and policy areas in the boxes in the center column.
Reference sources are not intended to be read cover-to-cover for in-depth information on a topic. In a concise format, they provide you with some basic information to help you begin to explore a topic before you commit to in-depth research . A reference source can provide the following:
Brief, factual overviews of topics
Important dates, events, and people associated with the topic
Terminology and definitions of terms related to the topic
Short bibliographies of essential citations you can use as a springboard for your research.
In addition, articles in many of these reference sources provided by UK Libraries are written by and attributed to individuals whose education and experience qualify them as experts on the topic. Please consider using one of the online reference collections listed below to Explore Your Topic!
|Adoption||Health Care Reform|
|Affirmative Action||Health Policy|
|Alcohol Abuse||Law and Civil Rights|
|Anti-Muslim Discrimination and Violence||Legal Services for the Poor|
|Anti-Semitism||Medicare and Medicaid Reform|
|At Risk Students: Higher Education||Mental Illness|
|Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder||Migrant Workers|
|Autism||Minimum and Living Wages|
|Bi-lingualism||Native Americans and Government Policy|
|Birth Control||Needle Exchange Programs|
|Cancer||Police Abuse and Corruption|
|Child Abuse and Molestation||Pornography|
|Child Labor||Poverty and Wealth|
|Civil Liberties||Prison Reform and Prisoner Rights|
|Civil Rights||Race and Ethnicity|
|Cults and Alternative Religions||Reproductive Rights and Technology|
|Divorce and Child Support||School Violence|
|Domestic Violence||Social Security|
|Drug Abuse||Social Security Reform|
|Foster Care||Terrorism, War on|
|Gambling||Tobacco and tobacco-related health issues|
|Gay and Lesbian Rights||Welfare and welfare reform|
|Gun violence and gun control||Women's Rights|
Any geographic name can be used as a subject term, e.g., United States, Kentucky, Lexington