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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: Apr 1, 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.

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.

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.


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

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