GOVT 1101.101: Debates on Democracy in America (Fall 2015)

Library Research Guide

Finding Opinions and Editorials

Many library databases allow you to a limit a search of newspaper content to articles found in the Editorials or Opinion section of the newspaper. 

  • Different databases contain the full-text of different newspapers. 
  • For your assignment, you might start with LexisNexis Academic, which includes the full-text of the New York Times and Washington Post in addition to thousands of other newspaper from around the world.  Instructions are provided below for constructing a search limited to Editorials and Opinions in US Newspapers.
  • The full-text of the Wall Street Journal is available through the database Factiva.  Instructions for finding editorials and commentaries/opinions in the Wall Street Journal is provided below.

LexisNexis Academic

LexisNexis Academic is a newspaper database that provides a limiter for finding editorials and opinion articles.  LexisNexis Academic includes the full text of the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Once in the database, choose “Search by Subject or Topic” in the upper right and then choose “All News”:

On the next screen, choose “Advanced Options” below the search box to reveal another set of search limiters. 

1) Set the Date.  In the example below, I'm looking for articles from the beginning of this year to the present.

2) Search terms using HLEAD followed by parentheses as below to look for your topic words in the headline or lead paragraph of the article.  In the example below, I’m looking for articles that talk about gun control, immigration, or abortion in the headline or lead paragraph. 

3) Limit to US Newspapers

4) Limit to Editorials and Opinions.

When you see your results, you can use the limiters on the left to look at the different newspaper titles that come back in your results and just look at results from the New York Times or Washington Post, for example.  Some of the articles will be authored by the Editorial Board of the paper and others will be by named authors or op-ed contributors. 



In Factiva, use the following steps to search for Editorials or Opinion articles in the Wall Street Journal.

1) At the top of the entry page, choose Search and then Search Builder.

2) Enter keywords for your topic.  In my example, I'm looking for "gun control" or immigration or abortion.

3) Click the arrow next to All Sources and then search for Wall Street Journal.  You'll see several matches - click on "The Wall Street Journal" to add the main edition to your search.

4) Click the arrow next to All Subjects and then search for "Editorials." Click "Editorials to add it to your search.  Then search for "Commentaries" and then click "Commentaries/Opinions" to add it to your search. 

Click "Search" at the bottom of the page to generate a list of results.

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