Reflect on a Controversy

A brainstorming guide to help you start...

1. Briefly describe the topic that you wish to research.



2. What questions do you hope to have answered as a result of your preliminary search? Try to list at least three.



3. What keywords do you think will help you find the information that interests you about this controversy? Why?



4. Based on your preliminary reading, what controversies do you see emerging? Describe each briefly.



5. Are you interested in one controversy in particular? If so, what intrigues you most about this debate?



6. Do you hold an opinion on this controversy? If you do, describe it briefly. If not, what is your assessment of the opinions that you have heard expressed on this controversy?



7. What opinion did your family and community have on this controversy? Is it the same or different from the one that you hold? Why or why not?



8. Imagine at least two different people or groups who hold differing views about this topic. Describe these people and summarize what you believe might be their points of view.



9. Why might this controversy be important for your audience or reader to think about?



10. Now that you’ve had a chance to begin your research, what questions and issues do you think are most important to pursue in the next stage in your search? What other issues have you discovered? Keywords?



Adapted from Clark, Irene L. Writing in the Center: Teaching in a Writing Center Setting, Third Edition. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing, 1992.