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These sources provide background and history, the current problem, and proposed solutions. They are also good places to look when you are trying to decide on a speech topic. They usually cover both the “pro” and the “con” sides of an issue.
Part of the reason for finding out more about the topic is so that you can narrow the topic to something manageable. For example, if you were interested in "immigration," you might narrow your topic to "securing our borders."
Arguments and Debates (Pros and Cons) in Public Policy and Social Issues
Essays that present multiple sides of a current issue, each with an overview, point, and counterpoint. Contains: political magazines, newspapers, radio and TV news transcripts, primary source documents, and reference books.
ProCon.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nonpartisan public charity, provides professionally-researched pro, con, and related information on more than 50 controversial issues from gun control and death penalty to illegal immigration and alternative energy. Using the fair, FREE, and unbiased resources at ProCon.org, millions of people each year learn new facts, think critically about both sides of important issues, and strengthen their minds and opinions.
U.S. Congressional materials (hearings, bills, Congressional Record and compiled legislative histories) and Executive Branch documents, with a wide range of coverage. Also has CRS reports (written by internal Congressional research teams) dating back to 1916.
Coverage of the most important issues of the day, written by experienced journalists, footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, and resources for additional research.
Includes excerpts of pro and con statements (1) by members of Congress, representatives of international organizations or other countries, and interest group representatives, and (2) from Supreme Court briefs. Covers civil rights and the judiciary, economic and environmental policy, government and politics, and foreign policy. Each issue covers a single topic and features both sides of a single issue. Provides full-text access to the Congressional Digest, International Debates, and Supreme Court Debates.
Direct link to the newspaper section of ProQuest. Includes Alt-Press Watch, Ethnic NewsWatch, GenderWatch, Latin American Newsstand, Canadian Newsstand Complete, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Times of London, and The Tennessean.
All current Vanderbilt University students, faculty, and staff have access, both on and off campus.
Primary source material for the study of American history and African-American culture, history, politics, and the arts. Includes: Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), Chicago Defender (1909-1975), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), Norfolk Journal and Guide (1916-2003), The Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), and Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002).
Newspapers, magazines, and journals covering cultural, economic, political & social change. Highly recommended comprehensive guide to alternative sources of information. Coverage is international and interdisciplinary.
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