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Finding Sources to Support an Academic Argument

Conduct Preliminary Research

Understand your topic:  You may have been given a topic for your argument; this can help you to focus your research.  If you are not confident that you fully understand your topic, you should do some preliminary reading before you begin researching.  Encyclopedias can help you learn about your topic.  Encyclopedias are not generally considered appropriate sources, but they can help you become more familiar with your topic. The Credo Reference Database contains millions of entries from encyclopedias and dictionaries.


Select a Topic

Select a topic:  If you need to select your own topic, you might want to use a specialized database that focuses on controversial issues.  

Opposing Viewpoints contains topic overviews, pro/con articles from books, academic journals, magazines and newspapers. In addition you will find statistics, primary documents and links to vetted web sites. 

CQ Researcher reports on current and controversial issues with complete summaries, pros and cons, bibliographies and more.