To familiarize yourself with the topic, use Wikipedia or another general reference.
Check out the "TALK" page on Wikipedia and use Pro-Con resources to skim and study arguements on both side of the issue.
Keep a running list of keywords. This includes terminology and key experts.
During deep search, don't waste time. Read abstracts before selecting articles.
Use "T-Notes" to juxtapose your arguements. Knowing counter arguements helps you to prepare arguements in support of your point of view. Note that any article may reveal clues to both counter arguements worth exploring.
Google individuals making claims or arguments to determine their credibility (credentials and biases).
Books in these series feature pro/con articles addressing a variety of questions within the larger topic.
Editorial news and opinion sources evaluate news and events. Whether these sources originate in newspapers, magazines, or on television/radio broadcast, they are not focused on reporting the news "objectively." Rather, they present events from one or opposing "editorial" points-of-view.
Editorials magazines often feature analysis of controversial issues. The editorial slant (i.e. liberal, conservative), of these publications result in expertly written articles and columns that also demonstrate media bias.
This is "a free online community where intelligent minds from around the world come to debate online and read the opinions of others." While the site encouages you to "research today’s most controversial debate topics and cast your vote on our opinion polls," it's important to remember that this is a FORUM! Unless you can establish the professional credibility of a contributor, these comments represent PUBLIC OPINION, not fact. Use them as anecdotal evidence only.
This site presents information in a pro-con format, aimed at "promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan" manner. The site provides good topic overviews with summaries of both pro and con arguements made by key players in the debate. Remember that these summaries are subject to error. Use the information in the summaries to locate original sources before reusing quotes. If you quote directly from this source, note that the quote is "according to the editors at ProCon.org."
Sponsored by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA), Debatepedia utilizes the same wiki technology powering Wikipedia to currate arguements around controversial topics. This resource is useful for gathering links to original resources. As with any open-edited resource, it's important to remember that the references are subject to error or distortion. Also, check out, Debatabase, featured on IDEA's website. The Top 100 Debates section provides useful overviews of pro-con arguements written by experienced debaters at the high school and collegiate level.
Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin
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