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Find Resources for Persuasive/Argumentative Essays and Speeches

Choosing and Developing a Topic

Often your instructor will assign a topic, or provide a list of topics to choose from. Other times, you will be allowed to choose your own topic. Choosing a topic and developing it into an arguable thesis statement is a process that often requires more time and effort than students expect. You can use the worksheet below as a guide to developing your topic. 

When beginning a research project, it's important to get background information. This basic information can give you a sense of your subject. This can help you determine whether you need to narrow your topic down to something more manageable. It can also help you identify key words and ideas associated with your topic that you can use when searching for sources. Reference sources like encyclopedias, dictionaries, or thesauruses are particularly useful for this stage of your research. Below are some suggested library resources for collecting background information:

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