Begin your research with an overview of the topic - this will give you a better understanding of the size and scope of the topic and help you develop a focused research question. Wikipedia and Credo Reference can be good places to start - even a quick look at the table of contents of a book can be helpful. You can also try Gale eBooks, a collection of subject encyclopedias for brief factual information on your topic.
Current Event Databases are also a great place to start - whether you're looking for a speech topic or seeking a concise introduction to one of the many important issues covered in these databases.
The CQ Researcher offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of today's most important issues. Each report is on a single topic more than 12,000 words in text and extensive bibliographies. Each weekly issue provides up-to-date information on controversial subjects reported by CQ's staff of experienced reporters.
Issues and Controversies
Issues and Controversies helps students understand crucial issues we face today, exploring more than 800 hot topics in business, politics, government, education, and popular culture. This database is great for research papers and debate preparation.
Public opinion is collected through polling and interviews by a variety of organizations. Data associated with public opinion can support persuasive arguments by demonstrating majority or minority opinions, or the shift of general beliefs over time.
Find results of recent polls, election polls, and surveys on hot topics in the news.
Pew Research Center
Find results of recent polls, organized by topic, including international opinions.
The Gallup Poll
Gallup Polls are often referenced in the mass media as a reliable and objective audience measurement public opinion. Gallup Poll results, analyses, and videos are published daily on Gallup.com in the form of data-driven news.
A picture speaks a thousand words. Incorporating a visual aid into your presentation can provide rhetorical support to your argument. Infographics, charts, and maps can bolster logos, while the right photograph can provide an emotional hook for your audience.
Looking for art images?
Resources for finding images relating to Art, Architecture, and Photography; History; Religion; Science and other subjects.
Looking for images you can modify, adapt or build upon?
CC Search offers convenient access to search services provided by Flickr, Google Images, Wikimedia Commons and more.
Examples help illustrate your point and can serve to clarify complex issues. Use a specific example to create connections in your audience's mind between ideas and concrete instances of people, places, or events.
Mark Twain is said to have declared that “facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” Statistics are data that can provide convincing information when you provide interpretations for your audience. For additional information on using statistics to make effective arguments, see https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/statistics/
Statista is a statistics and demographics repository with over 1,000,000 data sets. Though this source focuses heavily on industries, it also includes social and health data. Full topic list is here: http://www.statista.com/topics/
The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a compilation of social, political and economic statistics. The focus is on national data, but some tables cover regions, states, cities, and comparative international statistics. It is divided into broad sections such as Population, Health and Nutrition, Education, Foreign Commerce and Aid, Prices and many others. Each table identifies the source of the data. https://statabs.proquest.com/sa/index.html
Comprehensive visualization of U.S. public data. Search by populations, places, industries, skill sets, educational institutions and more.
Supporting evidence gathered from known experts carries a great deal of credibility. Remember that the people cited should be perceived as experts by others in the same field of expertise. Evidence should come from unbiased, third party sources. For example, the maker of a particular drug may not be an unbiased source on the attributes of that drug.
Selected Article Databases