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Civic Education at SHS: Research Resources for Civic Education

Step 1: Examine Yourself and Start Researching

Take the time to reflect on your own interest and passion related to your issue of choice. This reflection will help you build a strong foundation before you begin the next steps.

Also take time to consider how much of your own story (or the stories of those close to you) you wish to share on this journey. Set boundaries at the beginning to help you approach your choices with more confidence.

Then use resources available to you to understand the issue beyond yourself. Research will clarify...

  • Successful (and unsuccessful) attempts to address the issue by others
  • What individuals or groups are also affected by this issue
  • The arguments for and against the issue
  • The reasons for this issue's importance
  • And the possible benefits of the change you are seeking.

The resources on this page are a great place to get started. 

Take the time to build a strong foundation of understanding through your self examination and research. It will support you throughout your journey.

Questions 1-3

Shared with Permission from the Harvard Democratic Knowledge Project.


Social Issues

Substance Abuse in America

A history of drug policy in the United States from the early 1900s through the present day. (Book written in 2012).

The Suicide Epidemic

Information and data about America's suicide epidemic from Big Timber Media.

Racial Literacy Series

The books in this series include Examining Assimilation, Investigating Institutional Racism, Navigating Intersectionality, Recognizing Microaggressions, Looking at Privilege and Power, and Questioning Cultural Appropriation.

Threats to Civil Liberties Series

Big Timber Media
Books in Series: Policing, Privacy, Religion, Speech, and Voting

Policing (Civil Liberties)

From the Threats to Civil Liberties series on Big Timber Media.

Privacy (Civil Liberties)

From the Threats to Civil Liberties series on Big Timber Media.

Religion (Civil Liberties)

From the Threats to Civil Liberties series on Big Timber Media.

Speech (Civil Liberties)

From the Threats to Civil Liberties series on Big Timber Media.

Voting (Civil Liberties)

From the Threats to Civil Liberties on Big Timber Media.


This resources focuses on more than one idea or experience of trans identity and trans history.

The Vaping Controversy

This book overview of vaping and its impact on American culture and public health, especially among younger Americans.

The #MeToo Movement

An overview of the #MeToo movement and it's impact on American society. ABC-CLIO

African Americans by the Numbers

Current statistics about African Americans highlighting social, economic and political disparities. ABC-CLIO

Crisis on the Border

Refugees and Undocumented Immigrants from Big Timber Media.

Critical Thinking about Digital Media Series

This book series includes Twitter Culture, Fake News, the Confirmation Bias, Understanding Memes, Weaponized Social Media, and When Content Goes Viral.

Drug Use and Mental Health Series

This book series includes books about drug use and causes, mental health, the family, the law, intervention and recovery, alcohol, tobacco, hallucinogens, marijuana, opioids, over-the-counter drugs, performance-enhancing drugs, prescription drugs, and stimulants.

The Family Values Movement

The family values movement is a conservative movement that strongly supports traditional social values.


Explores whether or not people can trust print and electronic media to report the news with accuracy.

Opioids and Opiates: The Silent Epidemic

This book series includes Chronic Pain and Prescription Painkillers, Preventing and Treating Addiction, the Dangers of Drug Abuse, The Heroin Crisis, and Who is Using Opioids and Opiates.

Poverty and Welfare in America

This book closely examines controversial claims and beliefs surrounding poverty and anti-poverty programs in the United States.

School Shootings and the Never Again Movement

A detailed exploration of the Never Again movement through analysis of key events, biographical profiles of the activists, and essays about school shootings.

The Sexualization of Childhood

Examines the ways in which children are being sexualized, the physical and psychological consequences.

Social Issues in America

This work covers hotly contested social issues in America today—everything from abortion, academic freedom, and affirmative action to consumer debt, homeland security, illegal immigration, poverty and wealth, reproductive rights, and terrorism.

Spotlight on Current Events

Comprising essays on a variety of topics such as immigration, gun control, abortion, race relations, the environment, and gender.

Civil Liberties and the State

Includes information and debates related to civil liberties. ABC-CLIO

Crime and Punishment in America

Includes topics such as proposed sentencing, prison preforms, stand your ground, supreme court decisions, current data, and more. ABC-CLIO

Crime and Punishment in America

Follet Shelf ebook (search for book) - book about the history of crime and the criminal justice system in America.

Critical World Issues: Consumerism

Due to today’s globalized economic systems, how and what you buy has repercussions that impact people all over the world.

The Middle East in Turmoil

From Islamic extremism in Algeria to civil war in Iraq, this volume provides in-depth coverage of political and cultural conflict in the Middle East.

Refugees Worldwide

This book spotlights the realities and challenges of the global refugee population.

Examining Energy and the Environment Around the World

Examines climate change, fossil fuels, endangered species, and renewable energy, and examines how these issues are affecting countries around the world.

Torture and Enhanced Interrogation

"A comprehensive look at torture, this book explains where we are as a society with regard to use, how we got here, and where the state of thought on it may be in the future." - ABC-CLIO


Youth Activist Toolkit

A PDF ebook with great information for youth activists, from forming a plan through execution.

Other Book Sources

Additional Resources



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