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Library Research E-Textbook - Instructor Version: Argument Essay

Find information in Points of View Reference Center

The database Points of View Reference Center is a great collection of articles on current topics from the environment to social issues. Get to it by following the link above, or to get there from the library homepage, selecting Research Databases, then Points of View Reference Center.

When using the Points of View articles, look for the “Overview” sections – these will give you some solid background information on your topic.  Next, look for the “Point” and “Counterpoint” articles – these will present both sides of the issue.

Find News Editorials in Infotrac Newsstand

Infotrac Newsstand is a database of news and magazine articles that can come in really handy for an argument essay. Why? Because you can search specifically for editorials, those articles that express an author or editor's opinion on a topic. Basically editorials are published argument essays, so you can learn about different perspectives on a topic by searching for editorials about it. You can also learn new strategies for writing your argument essay by seeing how these professional writers handle the genre.

To search Infotrac Newsstand just for editorials, follow these steps:

  1. Select the database from the Research Databases; you'll be taken to the Advanced Search page.
  2. Enter your topic keywords in the search box.
  3. Look for the “by document type” box .
  4. Select "Editorial".

Find more arguments in Opposing Viewpoints

A third great source of information for the argument essay is the Opposing Viewpoints database. 

Opposing Viewpoints is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information and opinions on hundreds of today's hottest social issues.  Opposing Viewpoints lays out both sides of a debate and features continuously updated viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio files, and links to vetted websites (observe the red arrow on the screenshot below to see the multiple format types available in the database). 

Here's an example of the results you might get:

More Argumentative Sources

  • TED: Ideas Worth Sharing
    • Many of the most brilliant thinkers of our time are featured on this video site sharing their opinions and ideas.

Activity Option 1: Use a database

Find an entry related to your research topic using at least two of the following, as described above:

  1. Points of View Reference Center
  2. Infotrac Newstand
  3. Opposing Viewpoints

Print what you find, being sure to note the full citation for the source.