NOTE: Some Passwords have changed since last year.
Opposing Viewpoints and Global Issues
Search for a Topic using the Search Box, or Click Here to Browse for an Issue.
The "Hulu" to Opposing Viewpoints' "Netflix", EBSCO Points of View Reference Center also provides Overviews and Point/Counterpoint essays (from the Points of View series) in addition to curated articles from magazines, newspapers, journals, and more.
Another option you should be familiar with from your 9th-grade Service paper. SIRS operates similarly to Opposing Viewpoints and Points of View Reference Center.
It's okay to use a "Biased" source (i.e. a source that has an opinion / position / side on your topic) as long as you are aware that the source is biased , recognize how that bias will affect the quality of the information presented, and are prepared to defend it. However, "biased" sources can be easier for your opponents to attack, though just being "biased" doesn't automatically make something wrong.
This is the short version. For more detail see the Debate Tips Page.
One bonus of Library databases is that they offer preformatted citations in MLA 8th edition format (and other formats).
These Pre-formatted citations are meant to be used as a guide, as they are rarely perfect, and are not meant to replace the need to understand how to read and create citations.
Here is an example of a preformatted "MLA 8th Edition" citation for an article from SIRS Issues Researcher:
Here's a Citation for the same article from GALE Opposing Viewpoints:
Both citations are "Pretty Good" citations, but neither one is totally correct
Let's take a look. RED will mean things that are wrong, YELLOW will be things that we may consider changing, and GREEN are things that one database's citation has that the other one is missing.
The SIRS citation:
Note that this resource on SIRS changes the title of the Article, because the database is treating it as a reprint.
The GALE citation:
Here's Improved Versions of the Citation.
This is the short version. For more detail see this Debate Tips Page which is also broadly applicable to general argumentative pieces.
When you are presenting information to others, it's important that you have properly and critically evaluated your sources. Better sources make your position stronger. Check HERE for some tips on the questions you should be able to answer about your sources.
Argumentative Presentations succeed by using factually true evidence and logical reasoning (premises) in support to prove a statement (claim) to be true or superior to other claims. Unfortunately, providing strong evidence and reasoning to support a claim is not always enough to sway someone's opinions or beliefs.
Persuasive presentations succeeds by using any means available (no requirement for Sound Arguments) to shift how someone thinks, acts, or feels in the direction you want. One can (and should) use sound (logically valid and based on factually true evidence) Argument in service of Persuasion, but you can persuade with bad arguments (and it happens often). Logical Fallacies, which appeal to Cognitive Biases, can be very Persuasive.
Can you think of any examples of bad Arguments that have nonetheless been Persuasive?
Is it ethical to succeed at Persuasion while using unsound arguments?
Logical Fallacies are things that "break" a logical argument and make it "invalid".
Pointing out Logical Fallacies in opposing arguments can be part of a strategy in refuting them
Note, however, that just because an argument is fallacious, it doesn't mean that the claim/conclusion is False. Instead it means that the argument is invalid and cannot be used to "prove" the claim. Claiming otherwise is called the "Fallacy Fallacy"
ex. The Reason Fortnite is a very popular game (claim), is because millions of people like it (premise/support).
Is an example of the Fallacy of "Begging the Question." (you can't use the claim as support for itself, and "popular" means "lots of people like it"). The flawed argument doesn't mean that Fortnite isn't popular, just that your argument hasn't 'proved' it is.
Some 'persuaders' intentionally use logical fallacies in their arguments to make their claims seem to be true or more appealing, or in their Refutations and Rebuttals. This might work for "Persuasion", but it's not okay as an "Argument".
One of the reasons people can be easily Persuaded by fallacious Arguments has to do with the workings of the brain. This is a complex topic in Psychology.
Here are simple definitions provided by Psychology Today
"Bias" in this case doesn't mean "Racial Bias," which might be what first comes to mind when you hear that word, but rather it is "... a tendency, inclination, or prejudice toward or against something or someone."
"A Heuristic is a mental shortcut that allows an individual to make a decision, pass judgment, or solve a problem quickly and with minimal mental effort. While heuristics can reduce the burden of decision-making and free up limited cognitive resources, they can also be costly when they lead individuals to miss critical information or act on unjust biases."
Congnitve Biases aren't fallacies, but can make people susceptible to believing fallacies or affect ones ability to see fallacies. For this reason, it is useful to know about them. See also this explanation from the Logically Fallacious website.