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Researching an Argument

This guide will help you research and find evidence to support an argument. Students writing an argumentative essay or creating a persuasive speech will find this guide useful.

Front pages

Selecting a topic

Databases are great places to look for topics. Two of the library's databases, Opposing Viewpoints and SIRS Issues Researcher, provide excellent topic lists.  An example of how to browse issues in a database is below:

Click Browse Issues

A list of issues in Opposing Viewpoints

  • The website will show you a list of many arguable topics
  • You may browse all topics by clicking the Browse Issues link
  • You may search by category


Newspapers are ripe with arguable topics.  Headlines can generate topics. Here's an example of converting headlines to topics from the New York Times home page. Students can create their own New York Times accounts through the Mayfield Library.


Headlines and topic selection is a great website to help you find a topic, get background information and to examine the existing argument.