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Library Shelves with books with pink debate books on them

Our Debate Books Collection

Do you have to make a persuasive or argumentative speech? Do you have to write a persuasive or argumentative research paper? Or do you assign one? Do we have the both the book section and databases for you.

The most important step in researching a persuasive speech or paper is to select your topic. It should both interest you and be a topic that there are clearly at least two sides to.

HINT: Do NOT choose topics such as abortion, death penalty, etc. Everyone writes about those and your instructor would be in a much better mindset when grading your paper if you don’t make them read their 5,000th paper on one of those topics. AND you will write a better paper if it’s something that you’re at least a little bit interested in.

How do you find different and interesting topics? That’s where are debate books section comes in. It is mostly made up by two major series, Opposing Viewpoints and Current Controversies. Both series design books on a particular subject, which is then broken down to more detailed sections and then to questions for and against. Anyone of these questions would make an excellent topic. As a bonus they also give you the opposing viewpoint so you can argue against it.

The Debate books are found in a section in both the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City branches of Kirkwood Library Services. Their design makes them the easiest to browse in paper. They don’t circulate. However, we do also carry two online options.

The first is CQResearch which gives in-depth background reports that are useful for any project. You can also search for Pro/Con sections within these reports that argue both sides of an issue side by side.

The second is the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database which is put out by the same company that produces the series of books. You want to look for Viewpoints which are the same as the essays in the books. The also have direct access to a limited selection of journal articles, new articles, statistic reports, etc. which show up in a basic search. Unfortunately on the website the essays and articles aren’t paired pro and con so you may have a harder time finding the opposing viewpoint. Also, it can be hard to find all the articles within a book. Make sure you have the names of the essays from the table of contents if you want to find everything in a book online. Some recent titles may not be available online even if they are available in paper.

Ask a reference librarian if you need more help.

Close-up of a part of a shelf of debate books with pink labels

Important Notes

The Library link has returned to the bottom of the Kirkwood homepage. After moving off the page right before the semester started and staying off for a couple of weeks we were finally moved back into the second column of the list at the bottom of the page.

If you use APA in your classrooms there has been a change in how doi format. Learn more.

There has been a change in the Iowa City Kirkwood Library’s hours. They are now:
Mon-Th: 7:30am-9pm
Fri: 7:30am-5pm
Sat: 11am-4pm
Sun: Closed

Major Databases Changes came July 1st

Links to Some of The Books Recently Added to the Collection:

Agriculture and Agribusiness
Alex Awards 2016 – check out these best fiction and nonfiction books written for adults at an popular reading level
Best Books from School Library Journal for 2016 – check out these books which are a mixture of picture books and young adult books.
Collections of True Stories About Women
Culture Smart! Book Series Updates
Directors, Movies, Actors
Memorial Day Books about Veterans and the Armed Forces
Top Science Books of 2016 by the Smithsonian
YALSA 2016 Best Books for Young Adults – check out these fiction books selected to appeal to college age students by librarians who work with them
Odds and Ends 37
Odds and Ends 38
Odds and Ends 39
Odds and Ends 40

Our Special Display This Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Banned Books Week will be September 24-30, 2017. Contact the library for a button to wear. Stop by during Banned Books Week or the week after to check out this year’s display. (See last year’s display.)

Check out this list of Cultural Events happening at Kirkwood this fall.

Our Database of the Month

Major Databases Changes came July 1st

Books and Authors


Kirkwood Campuses Closed at Noon on Fridays through July 28th. This Friday closure pattern will carry over to next summer. Dates are not yet available, but will likely run from the beginning of summer classes through the end of July next year also.

Research Tips

Librarians Wrote Articles in The Communique last year. Watch for our articles in upcoming issues.

Want a Specialized LibGuide for an assignment to help your students find stuff?

Click Here

Want to schedule time in the library or for us to come into your class?

Click Here

What if the library doesn’t have a book you want?

Click Here

And remember you contact us at the library any time by phone, e-mail, chat, or stop on by! We’re always glad to see you! Look for the next issue of our newsletter. And remember you contact us at the library any time by phone, e-mail, chat, or stop on by! We’re always glad to see you! Look for the next issue of our newsletter.