This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Pro/Con, Debate and Position Papers" guide.
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Pro/Con, Debate and Position Papers   Tags: writing guide pro/con debate  

Hints and recommended resources for locating materials that support or oppose a particular position, pro/con and debate papers/speeches.
Last Updated: Jun 12, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Getting started

To effectively argue one side of an issue it is essential to also be familiar with arguments from the other side of that same issue. Do not limit yourself to researching only one side. For example, an article, speech, paper, or report that supports a particular issue such as gun control,  will often provide information on the opposing position. 

The Library subscribes to several resources which include both "pro" and "con" positions on topics. Individual issues in each series will be dedicated to a specific topic. Examples of recent topics are homeland security, the American family, cybercrime, athletes as role models, consumer culture and global warming. The volumes of the series are not shelved together; each volume will have a specific call number.

To locate specific issues: Search the series title (for example: "contemporary world issues") as a keyword in ONESEARCH to see a list of the individual titles in each series.

Another way to find arguments for and against controversial topics is through advocacy groups and organizations. Many sites publish reports and articles that support their mission and goals.

To find these organizations search in your favorite search engine (Bing, Yahoo, Google, etc.) and limit your search to .org results.

Library contacts

Contact the librarian who specializes in the subject you are debating.


Page contact

Contact Leilani Hall with questions or comments about this Research Guide. Thanks to Debbie Rogenmoser for her original guide that I have updated. or 916 278-6422

Check the catalog

The books in our Library are arranged by subject. Look in OneSearch for these titles, their locations and call numbers.

  • Contemporary World Issues
    This series provides historical background, contemporary context, and resources for further research.
  • Current Controversies
    Examines often sensitive social, political and economic topics from many different angles.
  • Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment
    2 North Reference HV 6017 .E524 2002
  • Encyclopedia of white-collar and corporate crime
    2 North Reference HV 6768 .E63 2005
  • Information Plus Reference Series
    The series provides current and past statistics, court decisions, state and federal laws, tables and charts, results of public opinion polls, and more
  • Opposing Viewpoints
    A leading source of controversial contemporary topics, each title explores a specific issue by placing expert opinions in a unique pro/con format.
  • Reference Shelf
    Extensive exploration of a topic of importance in modern society is in each volume.
  • Taking Sides: Clashing views in.....
    A debate-style reader designed to introduce students to controversies through readings which represent the arguments.

California State University, Sacramento | University Library | 2000 State University Drive East | Sacramento, CA 95819 | Phone: 916-278-5679


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