Controversial Topics Study Guide

The type of resource below is a list of authoritative sources available on this topic, such as books available at the NCTC Libraries and Internet resources.


Search the Catalog. Use the NCTC Library catalog to search all NCTC campuses for books, DVDs, and more. Search by keyword, subject, series, title, or author. The call number and location indicate where the item is located.

Request Books from Other Campuses

Request that items from other campuses be delivered to your home campus.

  1. Choose a book from your list of catalog results.
  2. Click Requests just below the library banner.
  3. Complete and submit the "Request Item" form.

Please allow two to three school days for delivery.

Suggested Searches

Book Series

Having trouble picking a topic? Search the catalog for our collection of hot topic series. These contain essays exploring the pros and cons of many debates.

Suggested series:


Already have a topic? Conduct a subject or words or phrase search in the catalog for your topic, and its synonyms.

Example Topic: Illegal Immigration
Example Synonyms: Undocumented migrant, Illegal alien, Clandestine worker


NCTC provides subscriptions to thousands of journals, magazines, newspapers and other credible sources of information through research databases.

Note: These links only work ON-CAMPUS. To access the databases off-campus, go the Library Databases page within MyNCTC.

Suggested Databases

Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints
Choose from hundreds of current and controversial topics. Find background information through topic essays, and gain insight to both sides of the argument with viewpoint essays. Each topic page links to academic journals, magazines and other sources of information for hot topics.

Access public opinion polls, government reports, popular and scholarly publications, and more on current and controversial topics.

Academic Search Complete
This database searches a broad range of topics, making it widely recommended for most research. Contains full-text, magazines, newspapers and peer-reviewed articles.

Newspaper Source Plus
Get the latest news on your topic! Full-text access to national and international newspapers. Also includes program transcripts from ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX News and NPR.

Internet Resources

The Internet provides a variety of up-to-date resources for current issues and controversial topics. Find background essays and simple pro and con essays on your topic. Great for identifying areas for deeper research.

Democratic Policy and Communications Committee - Issues Advises democrats in leadership and policy-making roles of research regarding key issues. Great for researching the Democratic side to law and legislation.

Senate Republican Policy Committee - Issues Advises republicans in leadership and policy-making roles of research regarding key issues. Great for researching the Republican side to law and legislation.

TED Talks Videos on impactful subjects from distinguished presenters and lecturers.

Research Game Plan
For Argumentative, Persuasive, and Hot Topics

Controversial topics wouldn't be controversial without strong opinions. Make sure you're getting both sides as well as unbiased fact.

  1. Choose a topic
    • Read up on possible topics in encyclopedias and topic essays available in books the Opposing Viewpoints database
    • Make a list of synonyms for your topic
  2. Investigate both sides
    • Make an informed decision about which side you're on
    • Identify debatable stances from the opposition
  3. Research deeper
    • Books for broad information
    • Academic journals for expert research on specific subtopics
    • Periodicals for current developments on your topic