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In a persuasive speech or paper you tackle a subject that has people with strong opinions on two sides, pro or con, real or fake, etc. While our basic academic databases (Gale, EBSCO) are still a good place to start, we also have materials that specifically argue both sides of issues. Picking a subject other than the old standbys (like abortion and the death penalty) leads to much better project. Here are some great ways to find one.

Both library locations have a collection of debate books. These books are from multiple series (Opposing Viewpoints, Current Controversies, At Issue) and contain persuasive essays on both sides of an issue. We just refreshed the collection and it’s an especially good place to browse if you still are looking for a broad topic or need help narrowing down a subject. In Iowa City these books circulate, in Cedar Rapids they don’t, but you can make photocopies.

Browse these recent additions to our Cedar Rapids Debate Collection for suggestions on recent topics.

Cedar Rapids Debate Book Collection

Our Debate Books

Our main online resource for persuasive speeches/papers is Opposing Viewpoints. This database not only includes the persuasive essays from the Opposing Viewpoints books (the database calls them Viewpoints), but also articles from academic journals, statistics, archives from NPR, news stories, recommended websites, and sometimes even videos.

Top Bar of Opposing Viewpoints

A second database useful for persuasive speeches/papers is CQ Researcher. This database was originally designed for the sole use of Congress, but it now gives access to whatever institutions are willing to pay for it. For each topic it includes history, an overview of the current situation, a chronology, a pro/con section like Opposing Viewpoints, etc. It’s great for deep background and as another place to find topics. As a warning, watch the date of individual reports, if the subject is presented just a little differently when they update they will often leave both reports in instead of replacing it. Also their Hot Topic pieces that are always up to the minute are shorter and don’t have all the elements of the longer reports. To just browse their Pro/Con section select “Pro/Con” from the drop down menu under “Browse Reports.”

Top bar of CQ Researcher



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When the college campus closes so do both Kirkwood library locations. We do are best to maintain regular open hours if the campus doesn’t close, BUT there will be times – especially on weekends – when the library is the only thing open on campus and so the college doesn’t officially close. During those times, for the safety of staff and students, the library may close without an official college closure. As soon as possible we try to post any such closures on our Facebook and Twitter channels, but while extreme weather persists PLEASE call ahead before you make a special trip. If no one answers, we’re not here.

In Cedar Rapids 319-398-5697
In Iowa City 319-887-3613

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Info to Know

Check out all these services available around campus. Did you know about all of them?

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

Biography Spring 2019

Holocaust Books 2019

Washington’s Birthday aka President’s Day

Odds and Ends 51

Odds and Ends 52

Very Short Introduction Series 2019

What to Read – Recommendations from Library Staff

Our Special Display This Month

Women’s History Month
Learn more at this special website from the Library of Congress

Our Database of the Month

A to Z World Food

Research Tips

Untangling Copyright Links – from our Collaborative Learning Day program

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

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

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

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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.