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ENG 1061/1070 English Composition/Effective Speaking: Resources for argumentative writing

Getting started with background research for composition and speech topics.

Sources for both sides of debates

The International Debate Education Association

has a "Debatabase" of topics

Pros and cons of controversial issues

Red Blue Dictionary

From Shows how people from across the political spectrum define, think or feel differently about the same term or issue. Provides multi-perspective analysis of controversial terms, from "abortion" to "Zionism."

Statistics for the U.S. and states, counties and more

Subscription source for streaming video

Searching all library resources

Search for articles, books and more...

Research databases

Suggested subscription databases

Broad range of topics, with full-text. Helpful for background information.

Suggested subject-specific databases

Multidisciplinary databases


Search or browse over 900 academic reference books, available online.

More e-Reference

Examples of persuasive writing

Some sources of persuasive writing


Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History (REF 808.85 Sa17L and Stacks 808.85 Sa17L)

Find text, audio and video of speeches at American's Online Speech Bank

Find books containing speeches to analyze in the VSC Online Catalog. Browse the titles under the subject heading of Speeches, addresses, etc.

Look at the Viewpoints essays in Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Find a topic of interest by browsing or searching and click on the Viewpoints tab on the left.

In ProQuest Central, in an Advanced Search, you can check Editorial for Document type (includes the New York Times)

In Academic Search Premier, in an Advanced Search, you can limit Document Type to Editorial or Speech.

In New York Times Historical, in an Advanced Search, choose Editorial for Document type. Or use the drop-down menu to choose “Section,” and type op-ed in the search box. In another search box, add another search term.

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