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Controversial Topics  

Research sources and tips for researching controversial topics for debates and argumentative, persuasive and pro/con papers.
Last Updated: Jul 10, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Ideas for Topics

 If you haven't chosen a topic yet, there are many places to get ideas.

  • Browse current magazine and newspaper articles, especially the opinion or editorial columns.
  • Take a look at this list of topics and search terms from Newsbank.  Topics include current events from throughout the world relating to social studies, science, health, sports, and the arts.
  • Look at the BOOKS tab above to see titles the library has in its collection.

Remember that your topic may have to fit specific guidelines set by your instructor, and that you may have to broaden, narrow, or change the focus of your topic as you find more information.

Check the following websites for more ideas...

  • ODU Idea Generator
    Website which promotes critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting research on controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, and primarily pro-con format.
  • Owens Library Hot Paper Topics
    The purpose of this page is to offer ideas for students writing informative, position or persuasive papers or speeches.
  • Hot Topic Guides
    Lists of research guides on hot topics from St. Ambrose University.
  • Controversial Topics list from Santa Ana College
    Controversial Topics list from Santa Ana College to help generate ideas for controversial topics for projects and papers.
  • Public Agenda Online
    Public debates on hot topics offering various views, pro and con.
  • Almanac of Policy Issues
    Neutral backgrounders on many controversial issues (death penalty, campaign finance reform, abortion, etc.), including links to news, articles, directories, and associations on either side of the issue.
  • Rand Corporation
    A nonprofit institution that addresses the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world. Their website contains research and hot topics.

Guide Author

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Susan Lawlor
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Susan Lawlor
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Thomas Nelson Community College
Hampton, VA
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The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman

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