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Controversial Topics Research

What makes a topic controversial? What should I know about a topic? How can I learn the issue so that I can know where I stand? This guide sets you on a path to answer these questions.

Start your research using Opposing Viewpoints

Opposing Viewpoints contains pro and con articles about controversial issues and societal challenges. Includes topic overview, primary source documents and statistics.

Using Opposing Viewpoints

Step 1:  Search your topic (see earlier discussions of the keywords you can use, and of how to use keywords and subjects).  I typed in doctor-assisted suicide into the box and the system presented me with their way of saying it, physician assisted suicide.

Step 2:  Notice how the site categorizes the results.  Consider starting at Reference (there are 50 Reference items).  These are overview articles.  They will give you a description of the issue, adding history and context.

Step 3:  Look at articles under Viewpoints.  You should be able to tell which side of the issue the author favors.  Read articles for and against so that you know what the arguments are.

Step 4:  Visit Websites.  These are often advocacy sites that also take one side or the other of the issue.  Made sure you view more than one site so that you can get more of an idea of the arguments concerning your topic.

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