Senior Position Paper

Choosing a Topic- click here to be directed to the Topic Page for the Senior Position Paper

Reporting a Problem- use this form to get help with a research issue

Library Guide - guide found with your assignment.


Submit your Topic Proposal  to Ms. Scivolette, due: Tuesday May 9

MLA Format Paper and Works Cited - make sure your paper and Works Cited page are formatted properly

Spackenkill MLA Citation Guide - contains all the citation formats you need, check C/P citations against this

Database Cut/Paste Citations - illustration of where on article/page to find MLA citations

EasyBib - Helpful for website and book citations.  Check against Spackenkill MLA Citation Guide for accuracy!

Database Passcodes - you must be signed in to your school account


OPALS is the SHS Library catalog. There are many books in the SHS Library collection that cover issues appropriate for a position paper.  Many series in the collection offer "one stop shopping" since the books contain individual articles that cover different aspects of the topics covered.  In addition, series such as Point Counterpoint, Issues in Focus and Opposing Viewpoints offer both pro and con arguments in the same book. 

Electronic Books - OPALS also provides access to the electronic book collection. Any title labeled EB (except Nook) may be read online.  Follow the link provided near the call number.


 PRO CON Resources-



Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Opposing Viewpoints contains original material that cannot be accessed by other means. Most useful are Viewpoint Essays which provide arguments, both pro and con, for topics. Remember, a position paper should always show familiarity with all aspects of a topic - not just the position you are arguing.  This database also gives access to periodicals and reference materials related to your topic. You may Browse the Issues for ideas, search issues by category, or use the search box.


Issues & Controversies

Issues & Controverisies is especially usuful for a short introduction to both sides of a topic. The Breaking News feature is also useful.  You may browse the issues by Subject.


Congressional Digest Pro&Con

Congressional Digest Pro&Con provides overviews with numerous published opinions of congress members and experts.  Arranged with the overview in the main screen, access other sections through the menu on the left side of the screen.  You may use the search box to find articles or search the Issues by Topic for ideas.

PRO CON Resources-



Room for Debate
New York Times Room for Debate offers opinion articles from a variety of "knowledgable outside contributors" as well as moderated comments from readers.  Use the "Search Room for Debate" search box on the upper right,  scroll through the pages of topics or use the Discussion Topics table on the lower right of the screen to narrow your focus.

Image is a non-partisian organization that provides resources, mainly in a pro/con format.  Generally it offers an overview of the issue, the arguments on both sides, background and historical information and a video gallery.  New topics are being added all the time.  Use the "Google Custom Search" box or browse the topics on the main page.




Proquest Newsstand
Proquest Newsstand offers full-text coverage of many U.S. newspapers.  The Poughkeepsie Journal is available through this database with a one day dely.


New York Times
The New York Times is a venerable news organization that covers a wide variety of issues every day. Take a look at the Times Topics and Times Topics Subjects sections of the website for topic ideas and keyword suggestions.


General Databases

Student Resources in Context
An excellent source for background reference, Student Resources in Context has articles from reference works, newspapers, magazines, and journals as well as video, audio and images.


PowerSearch lets you access dozens of Gale databases at once.  You will receive more targeted results if you use the Advanced Search function or switch from Keyword to Subject on the basic search screen.


ProQuest indexes mostly periodicals and provides most resources full text. Click Search tips found near the search box for help with search strings.  For more targeted results use the Advanced Search option and search in SUbject Heading for your keywords.








Search Engines

Sweet Search

Google Scholar