Research Tips

Author: sarahwornow7 | Last modified: July 3, 2018, 11:42 p.m.


Where do you start when you receive a new topic? This can be a tricky question when you're new at debate. There are many different ways to start researching a topic. Here's some advice on how to begin searching your topic:

1. Start with background information on the topic. Before you jump straight to looking for affirmative and negative points, it's important to have a firm grasp on what the actual topic is. Let's take the sample topic, "Ecotourism does more harm than good". To start, you might just put "ecotourism" in your search bar. This search will yield definitions and websites discussing the topic. Read through some websites until you understand why there's controversy surrounding the subject.

2. Once you have enough background information, start creating a basic outline for your research with claims for your three affirmative and three negative points. To do so, you might search pros and cons of the topic. Going back to the ecotourism topic example, a good search would be, "Ecotourism pros and cons". Multiple websites will pop up with points for both sides of the topic. Make sure to visit a couple of reliable websites and read through different points. This method will ensure that you choose the points you feel the strongest about. 

3. After completing an outline of your points, go back and specifically search for evidence for each point. You might do this by copying and pasting your point into the search bar, or inputting key words of your point into the search bar. This search should allow you to quickly find specified research for a specific point.

4. While doing specific research for your points, keep your eyes out for good grabbers and definitions. You'll also want to write impacts for your points and at the end think of a weighing mechanism that benefits your side. Make sure to keep track of your sources!

Hopefully, these tips will help when you're beginning to research a new topic.