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TOPIC: Controversial Topics

Guide Purpose

This libguide will help you locate information on researching controversial issues for writing persuasive, pro/con or persuasive essays or speeches.

Your purpose is to convince your reader or listener of your point of view. You may want them to change their minds on particular subject or convince them to take a course of action or accept your perspective.


Persuasive essays may also be called argumentative essays or position arguments. In a successful essay or speech, you:

  • define the issue
  • take a clear position
  • make a convincing argument
  • acknowledge opposing views


Generally, your research for a persuasive essay or speech 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

Protesting for Equal Rights

 Women's rights protest in Egypt