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Controversial Issues: Home

Welcome to the Controversial Issues Guide!

picture of a scaleControversial issues make excellent topics for papers and speeches, but can often be tricky to research.  In order to get to the truth you need to be a smart researcher! You can use the tabs above to find articles, books, websites, and more about many different controversial issues. If you have any questions or comments about this guide, please contact me via email

Popular Topics

The topics below are often used for persuasive speeches and essays.  They tend to be very complex topics with facts that lend themselves nicely to pro/con organization, but also can be framed strategically to support a variety of different conclusions. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather serve as an example to illustrate the types of topics that fall into the 'controversial issues' category. In fact, some instructors restrict students from researching these very topics because they are too broad, excessively complex, or overused. The best way to settle on a topic is to browse newspaper or news site headlines and/or entries in reference sources about things that interest you and see where that leads you.

  • Abortion
  • Bioethics
  • Censorship, free speech and the First Amendment
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Death Penalty
  • Euthanasia
  • LGTBQ+ Rights
  • Global Warming
  • Gun Control
  • Illegal Immigration
  • Human Rights
  • Hate Groups
  • Healthcare
  • Marijuana Legalization
  • Sports and Steroid Use
  • Tablets vs. Textbooks
  • Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • Television & Video Game Violence
  • Welfare

Starting Your Research

Start your research by looking at the lists of popular topics (in the box below and to the left) and current headlines in the box below. These lists may help you select or narrow down your topic.

Then, continue your research by clicking on the blue tabs above:

  • Find Books/E-books provides information about Interlibrary Loan, and it links to books, e-books, & the TCC Library online catalog.
  • Find Articles provides links to several of TCC Library's online reference and article databases, as well as to tutorials that can help you search more effectively.
  • Reference Shelf provides links to TCC Library's full-text electronic reference databases for fast facts and overviews. 
  • Topic Websites provides links to web sites on controversial topics and to sources that can help you evaluate the quality of information you find.
  • Writing Help contains information about TCC's Writing Centers and to information to help with writing.
  • Research and Citation offers help to students in formatting using MLA and APA style guidelines.
  • Evaluating Sources provides more background on the importance of looking critically at sources you use, as well as strategies you can use when evaluating them.

In the Headlines...

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