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Persuasive Topic Selection


Use the tabs across the top for help finding specific kinds sources and research tools.  This guide contains research tips and finding persuasive resources and topics.

The Start Here page has some general information on the types of sources and research tools you may want to use for your persuasive research assignment.  It provides information about wi-fi, computer, and information access.  It also has contact information for research help.

Find Persuasive Topics

The following are some different types of resources you may want to explore when working on your topic.

Background information

  • Dictionaries - build vocabulary, check spelling, examine meanings and the proper usage of words.
  • Encyclopedias - starting point, overview of a subject, background information, key thinkers in that discipline, facts, statistics, definitions and bibliographies.  
  • Pro/Con essays: overview of issues and arguments given by both sides.
    • Books and Library Databases - Opposing Viewpoints, At Issue and Taking Sides.

Current Events & Reporting

  • News reports: describe how your issue is impacting the world, the nation or a community.
    • Library Databases, television, radio, and newspapers. 
  • Documentary / Educational Films: brings an issue to light, persuading an audience, or for educational purposes.

Points of View

  • Opinion articles:  writer's point of view or that of the organization they represent.
    • Letters to the Editor or Editorialsnewspapers and Library Databases.

Organizations / Interest Groups: for many controversial issues there are organizations and interest groups that work and lobby for their side of the issue.

  • Browse articles by and about these organizations.

Scholarly journal articles: expert research studies about the topic -- get the scientific or expert point of view.

  • Library Databases - scholarly journals.

Computer and Wi-Fi Access

Student computers are on the 2nd floor next to the information desk and in classroom L235.  These computers are connected to your student print account.   

Public computers are also on the 2nd floor.  If you use a public computer, log in with your MEID as your library card number.  Your password will be your six-digit birthday (MMDDYY).  Please note that these computers are not connected to your student printing account and you will be required to pay for printouts:

  • Black and white prints are ten cents per page
  • Color prints are fifty cents per page. 

There are two Wi-Fi profiles available at SMCL:  Guest and Cougar.  Select Cougar Wi-Fi, log in with your MEID and password. A student must be currently enrolled.

Faculty Librarian

Hi there!  My name is Lora Largo.  This guide will help you find resources for your persuasive research.  If you have a research question, please feel free to contact me or schedule an appointment via email:

  • (602) 243-8345
  • Book research appointment 

South Mountain Community Library (SMCL) also offers research and informational service assistance throughout the week, even on Sunday.  You may also get research or reference help: 

  • In-person at a  Research and Information Service Desk
  • By phone: 1st Floor (602) 243 - 8187 or 2nd Floor (602) 243 - 8194
  • By online chatAsk a Librarian 24/7