There's no debate...the Library has great resources

French essayist Joseph Joubert said, “It is better to debate a question without settling it, than to settle a question without debating it.” He understood that debate, forensics, and persuasive writing foster critical thinking skills, analytical self-reflection, intellectual curiosity, and a respect of difference.

Increasingly, students are being asked to justify, synthesize, and analyze complex issues into persuasive written and oral arguments. Assignments like these tie into the recently adopted Common Core Standards which “reflect... the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.”

The library has both online and print resources to help students assemble research content, understand the mechanics of debate and persuasive writing, and polish a presentation.


Points of View
The Points of View database is designed to assist researchers in understanding the full scope of controversial subjects. Students can use Points of View as a guide to debate, developing arguments, writing position papers, and for development of critical thinking skills. Each Points of View essay includes a series of questions and additional material to generate further thought. Also included are thousands of supporting articles from the world’s top political and societal publications.

Denver Public Library - Points of View database
by: wilmotf

CQ Researcher
This database features in-depth analysis of topics in the news ranging from social and teen issues to environment, health, education, science and technology, covering all sides of the issues. Each single-themed, 12,000-word report is researched and written by a seasoned journalist. The consistent, reader-friendly organization provides researchers with an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources.


How to Debate

Winning Debates: A Guide to Debating in the Style of the World Universities Debating Championships

Extraordinary Debates

Thank You For Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

Toastmasters International Guide to Successful Speaking

The Everything Public Speaking Book

Cross X: The Amazing True Story of How the Most Unlikely Team From the Most Unlikely of Places Overcame Staggering Obstacles at Home and at School to Challenge the Debate Community on Race, Power, and Education

Online Resources

National Forensics League: The national honor society for secondary and middle school speech and debate. Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format.

Public Agenda: Nonpartisan issue guides, created under a Creative Commons copyright, allow the sharing of information: facts and figures, different perspectives and analysis of public attitudes.

Written by Robin on November 7, 2012


Lisa F. on November 7, 2012


Thanks for those great resources, Robin. You may be inspiring a whole new generation of future lawyers!


Thanks, Lisa. Debate does lend itself to careers in law and politics. Colorado's own Diana DeGette debated for four years as a Colorado College undergraduate. But Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, Lee Iacocca, Harry Connick, Jr., and even Adam Sandler debated competitively when they were young.

Anonymous on November 8, 2012


Can't wait until they have a mobile app for these.


Neither can we! We're continually working with the companies that provide our databases to provide the best experience possible for our customers. A big part of that moving forward includes content that is optimized for mobile devices. Neither of these resources has a finalized solution for mobile yet, but we will continue to work with them, and hope to have something available sooner rather than later.

Julies on August 8, 2013


Just wanted to point out another great common core resource for math. It is aligned right with the core curriculum.

Leave a comment