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Controversial Issues: Home

Writing an opinion or argumentative paper? Need to find quality sources on controversial topics? This is the guide for you!

Controversial Issue Paper

Writing an argumentative paper on a controversial issue requires that you look at both sides of an issue and take a position on one side or the other.  You not only take a stand on an issue, but you must defend it against opposing points of views.  Your argumentative paper, therefore will involve advocacy and persuasion.

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What to do:

  • Select your topic
  • Research the issues surrounding the topic
  • Read other writers’ arguments for and against
  • Take a stand
  • Present supporting evidence in favor of your position
  • Defend your position against opposing points of view
  • Anticipate and deflect arguments against your position
  • Make your case persuasively 

Getting Started

Generally, your research for a persuasive essay will involve one or more of the following:

  • choosing a topic that interests you or researching a teacher-assigned topic to find an angle that you like
  • locating reference resources to provide background information on your topic
  • locating books and other library materials on your topic
  • locating journal or magazine articles for current research, statistics or analysis
  • locating websites specifically aimed at your topic
  • citing your sources in MLA or APA style

 

Protesters marching against President Trump’s anti-immigrant executive orders in New York. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Guide Author

Beth Seelick's picture
Beth Seelick
This research guide was created by Professor Beth Seelick (1955-2019).
"A teacher affects eternity; she can never tell where her influence stops." ― Henry B. Adams