Skip to Main Content
Ask Us

Controversial Issues and Viewpoints

A guide to sources for argumentative papers and persuasive speeches


This guide will help you to locate books, articles, and other forms of information on a variety of topics related to controversial issues. 

Objectives for this Guide

Before you start your argumentative paper or persuasive speech, you will need to pick a topic. Can’t think of a topic to research? This can often be the hardest part of starting a research project!  Remember, it's a lot easier to stay motivated to research a topic that you personally find interesting! 

Make sure to pick something that you are interested in. The resources in this libguide provide many ideas for current "hot" topics and controversial issues. Under the Articles tab in this guide, take a look at the Issues section in Issues & Controversies or the Browse Issues section in Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

And always remember, if you have any questions, please ask one of the FSCJ librarians for help.

Some Questions to Think About

Start with some questions:

  1. What do you already know about the topic?
  2. What don’t you know?
  3. What aspects of the topic most interest you? Psychological, political, legal?
  4. Do you want to focus on a geographic region? International, United States, Midwest, Wisconsin?
  5. What about focusing on a specific age or population group? (Young children, elementary, middle school, high school, college students, middle age, elderly, minorities, males or females)

General Topic Examples

Critical Race Theory (related keywords: race relations, racism, critical theory, CRT, group identity)

Healthcare Legislation (related keywords: medical care, law, public health, health care reform)

Technology--Positive/Negative Effects (related keywords: advantages, disadvantages, harm, benefits, computers, smart phones)

Video Games (related keywords: electronic games, Call of Duty, Fortnite Battle Royale)

Abortion (related keywords: Pro-life Movement, Pro-choice movement, reproductive rights)

Gun Control (related keywords: firearms, policy, laws, legislation, second amendment)

Police Misconduct (related keywords: police reform, use of force continuum, brutality, community policing, self-defense)

Genetically Modified Foods (related keywords: GMO, biotechnology, crops, transgenic organisms, transgenic plants, harm, benefits)

Stem Cell Research (related keywords: embryonic, embryo, ethics, law, legislation, religious aspects)

Immigration (related keywords: policy, immigration reform, emigration and immigration)

Childhood Obesity (related keywords: obesity in children, causes, nutrition disorders, youth, overweight, pediatric)

Topic Generators