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Need to Choose a Topic?
You must choose an argumentative or persuasive topic. There is a big difference between writing an informative essay on eating disorders and arguing that the media contributes to a dangerous body image for young women.
Forbidden topics: felony offenders, juvenile justice, cloning, capital punishment, legalization of marijuana, or smoking in public places.
Not sure? Try the lists below for ideas.
A great resource to start gathering background research on your topic.
New York Times : 1980 - Present
Full-text coverage of the US newspaper of record. Offers superb coverage of national and international news, plus coverage of important speeches and documents, Supreme Court decisions, and presidential press conference transcripts.
Newspaper Source provides full text for 185 national (U.S.) and international newspapers, including Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Times (London), Toronto Star, etc.
Current Topics/Social Issues Databases
Social Issues Researcher (SIRS)
Pros and cons on today’s complex social issues. Includes critical current issues and enduring social issues with full-text articles, multimedia, primary sources, government documents and reference material from over 1,800 national and international sources.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context
An online resource that includes articles from academic journals, newspapers, magazines; audio; videos; opinion essays; and primary sources on current controversial issues. A good source of topic ideas for papers and speeches.
Points of View Reference Center
Providing a balance of materials from all viewpoints, Points of View Reference Center includes over 1,300 main essays, leading political magazines from all sides of the political spectrum, newspapers, radio & TV news transcripts, primary source documents, and reference books.
A current events database that allows researchers to explore social, political and economic issues, scientific discoveries, and other popular topics discussed in today's classrooms.
Research Databases for Scholarly Articles
Academic Search Complete
Contains full-text articles on topics in multiple disciplines, useful as a starting point for most subjects.
Provides full text of journal articles and indexing and informative abstracts for "core" coverage journals dating back to 1895, plus "priority" coverage journals and "selective" coverage journals.
Education Research Complete
Covers scholarly research and information relating to all areas of education. Topics include all levels from early childhood to higher education, and all educational specialties, such as multilingual education, health education, and testing.
Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection
Covers emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry and psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods.