Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Controversial Issues: Reference Material

This guide was created to assist students who are writing an argumentative essay, preparing for a debate, or writing a speech.

Reference Material

  • Each library has a Reference Collection with specific types of resources for finding facts or basic information on a variety of topics.  Reference material can give an overview of topic and can help to narrow a topic down.

  • The Print Reference Section is located near the reference desk and the books in this section are labeled with REF before the call number.

  • Look for subject specific scholarly encyclopedias and dictionaries on your controversial topic.


Argumentative Papers Reference Material


  • General encyclopedias are used when you need background information or an overview of your topic. Examples of general encyclopedias are: Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book Encyclopedia.

  • Subject specific encyclopedias provide more detail and may be written by experts in the field. Examples of subject encyclopedias are Encyclopedia of Science & Technology Encyclopedia of archeology, Encyclopedia of Musicians.