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Controversial Issues

Writing a debate or argumentative research paper? Here's how to get started researching controversial issues.

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Selecting a Topic

Here are some basic tips for selecting a topic for any research paper. 

Choose: a topic that interests you. If it's something you like, you'll enjoy it.

Make sure: that your topic is not so broad that you are overwhelmed with information.

Make sure: that your topic is not so narrow that you can't find enough information.

Limit: your topic to a time period if necessary. For example, 2, 5 or 10 years.

Limit: your topic to a geographical area if necessary. For example, the United States or Kentucky or Louisville.

Consider: how much information you need. For example, your professor may require 3 scholarly articles, 1 book, and 1 newspaper article. It's best to know what you need before you even start looking.

Start: your research early to eliminate stress and anxiety.

Selecting a Topic

Stumped about what to write about? Here are a few places to get ideas. A librarian or writing instructor can help you narrow a topic that is too broad.

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Books on Essay Writing

Found a topic but need help writing? The Downtown Library has several books available for check out about writing essays (click on the link to view availability and find the call number). Book titles followed by (electronic resource) are e-books available immediately online.