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Legacy Library

WRIT 102- College Composition- Heather Surface: Finding Arguments

Useful Library Resources for WRIT 102 class

Pro/Con Arguments

Why use Pro/Con arguments?

Pro/Con positions reveal the strands of argument that are used to advocate for a position. 

What should I consider in thinking about a controversial topic?

Currency:  Pro/Con arguments often address contested current issues.

Scope: Pro/Con arguments are best found for topics of national or international breadth. Arguments for local or regional topics are more difficult to find.

Keywords: When using catalogs or databases try not to use the words "pro" or "con", instead carefully identify keywords and sometimes attaching words like "debate" or "controversy" can lead to arguments.

Personal Knowledge: What do you know? You may know the arguments and have an informed opinion already. You might also know the stakeholders for a particular issue that can be a potential starting point in research.  

Research Parameters: What do you need to find? Scholarship? Books? Statistics? News? The answers to these questions can often determine how a topic can be handled.

Places to Find Pro/Con Arguments

Library Catalogs: Library catalogs allow access to book collections held in libraries. Many books compile materials that support either or both positions of a given issue.

Article Databases: These resources can identify popular magazines or scholarly journals.

News Databases: News databases can identify newspaper articles or news aggregation sources  much it it loaded with argumentative and editorial content. 

Media: Different kinds of media often serve as forums to present arguments for contested issues.

Statistical Resources: While not direct arguments, statistics can provide primary source material to support either side of an argument.

Open Internet: Can take you to websites that advocate for a particular issue.