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Current and Controversial Topics

Need to find quality sources on controversial topics? A guide to sources for argumentative papers and persuasive papers

Assistant Director of Library Services

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Cynthia Hunt
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One Riverside Drive | East Hartford, CT 06118


Getting Started:

  • Choose an issue or topic that you find interesting
  • Locate background information
  • Critically evaluate and analyze pro/con positions that exist
  • Identify the research question you want to ask (use open ended questions that start with "how" and "why")
  • Once you determine your question break it apart into terms. Think of related words or synonyms to describe your terms
  • Develop a thesis statement (the specific argument you are going to make)
  • Gather the evidence to support your claim and use it to make a persuasive argument

Remember to Evaluate Websites and other Resources!

It is extremely important that if you are using the Internet for research, you must evaluate the site for accuracy and authority!  There is a lot of misinformation out on the web and you do not want to suffer from information overload!  Please keep in the mind the following when you are deciding if a web site is reliable and appropriate:

  • Authority: Who is responsible for creating the webpage? What does the URL contain?
  • Accuracy: Spelling or grammar mistakes?  Can you verify the information on the webpage?
  • Bias/Objectivity
  • Currency: When was the webpage created or updated?  Is the information up to date?
  • Scope
  • Coverage: What is the purpose? Who is the intended audience? Is the information detailed or broad?

Remember you should always check with your instructor to deterimine if you are allowed to use web sites (instead of Library Databases) for your assignments!  You can always ask a Goodwin Librarian for assistance with navigating through the many databases we subscribe to!