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Controversial Issues   Tags: argumentative_essays, controversial issues  

General guidelines, resources, and instruction on researching controversial issues and writing an argumentative paper.
Last Updated: Nov 1, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Your Assignment Print Page

Controversial Issues


What You Need to Know

Understanding Your Assignment

Before you begin looking for information you should make sure you understand your assignment. Some good questions are:

  • How many pages?
  • How many sources?
  • What kinds of sources?
    • Books
    • Articles
    • Websites
  • What format?

Your professor is your best resource to answer these questions.

image of student with her hand raised


Controversial Issue Paper

image of scaleWriting an argumenative paper on a controversial issue requires that you look at both sides of an issue and take a position on one side or the other.  You not only take a stand on an issue, but you must defend it against opposing points of view.  Therefore, your argumentative research paper will involve advocacy and persuasion. 

What to do:

  • Select your topic
  • Research the issues surrounding the topic
  • Read other writers’ arguments for and against
  • Take a stand
  • Present supporting evidence in favor of your position
  • Defend your position against opposing points of view
  • Anticipate and deflect arguments against your position
  • Make your case persuasively 

Research Basics - Step by Step

Breaking Down The Research Process  

  research process image

The following outline gives a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs. We are ready to help you at every step in your research.

  1. Choose a topic - or have one assigned
  2. Understand your topic
    • Background reading
    • Consider a main focus
    • Refine your topic
    • Make a list of your keywords and concepts
  3. Search Sources
    • Find Books
    • Find Articles
    • Find Websites
  4. Write your paper - Informative, Analytical, Argumentative, Critical
  5. Cite your sources

            Professor Nava
            Fall 2016

            End of semester paper  

            5-6 Academic Resources 

            Research Guide Index

            *Professor Michelle Nava has given verbal permission to share her prompt.


            Professor Maravilla
            Fall 2016

            Your Paper

            • Topic vary
            • How many pages?
            • At least 6 sources
            • Types of sources?
            • Works Cited page
            • MLA format

            Research Guide Index


              Professor Hitch
              Fall 2016

              Your Paper

              • 6-8 pages
              • 4 sources
              • 1 scholarly journal
              • Works Cited page
              • MLA format

              Research Guide Index


                Monica Lopez


                Contact Info:

                Librarian/Associate Professor
                Acquisitions and Collection Development Coordinator
                562-860-2451 Ext. 2434

                Phone: (562) 860-2451 x2434



                Lorraine Gersitz

                Lorraine Gersitz

                Lorraine's Contact Info:

                   (562) 860-2451 x2414

                   LC 60

                To chat with me, click on this Chat button.  If I'm offline, use Library Chat in the box below.



                Talk to a Librarian

                Need Help 

                The Cerritos College Librarians can help you with your research in a variety of ways:

                Librarians are available during library hours to answer your questions by phone or chat.
                (562) 860-2451 x2425


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