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Argument and Persuasion: Find Articles

This Library Guide focuses on persuasive writing, or argument. While some of the contents may pertain to spoken rhetoric (debate/speech), the emphasis is on written rhetoric such as papers frequently assigned in freshman composition classes.

Page Overview

This page lists databases whose primary scope and function pertain to argument and persuasion and also suggests a search strategy for finding materials pertaining to argument in an aggregator (general) database.

Electronic Resources

There are a number of electronic resources you can use to research your area. The databases on this page are some of the more useful ones.  You can also search for a specific journal using the search box below. If you cannot find what you need, please contact the Subject Specialist using the contact information under the Home tab of this Guide.

Find Journal(s)

Search for Journal Title
Limit Your Results

Special Note

NOTE: Due to license agreements, some journals and/or specific issues may not be available in full-text.

Key Resources

These electronic databases are designed to provide information sources for argumentative/persuasive speech and writing assignments in grades 8 -14 (college/university sophomore).  Assignments at higher grade levels, or projects undertaken by more experienced researchers, may require an expanded search bringing into play additional databases or the Discovery Search tool.  


Search Strategy for Aggregator Databases

The three databases listed in the box above are "proprietary" databases; which is to say, they have fewer items indexed than would an aggregator database like Academic Search Premier or Academic Onefile (or the Discovery Search engine), but they have a higher percentage of full text available.  Searching an aggregator database requires a different approach, or search strategy,  than searching these proprietary databases. 

Note:  The Advanced Search mode of the proprietary databases displays an interface similar to the Advanced Search in the aggregator databases.

1.  Select a database; make sure the interface is set for Advanced Search (three search boxes stacked).

2.  Place your "umbrella term" (the topic of your argument, possibly carried over from one of the proprietary databases) in the top search box. 


  • border wall
  • school uniforms
  • teacher tenure
  • voter identification

3.  In the middle search box place a "discourse type" limiter to surface argumentative writing.  These may be oppositionals used to indicate the author's position on the topic.  Examples:

  • pro(s), con(s), pros and cons (this combination usually harvests the most results)
  • oppose, support
  • editorial, op-ed, opinion, viewpoint

3a.  Some subject sub-headings (from the library catalog) may be used as well.

  • moral and ethical aspects
  • political aspects
  • psychological aspects
  • social aspects

4.  In some instances it may be necessary to use the bottom search box for a demographic limiter to single out or block irrelevant search results.  Examples:

  • United States (geographic)
  • senior citizens (age-group)
  • immigrants (social/political)


Who has access?

If you are faculty, staff, or currently enrolled in classes at Jacksonville State University, you can access the Library's electronic resources from your home computer.

Where can I access these resources?

Access is granted through an authentication application called EZproxy. It is very easy to use, and it allows our users to access our resources from any browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) or service provider (AOL, Mindspring, etc.).

How Do I Access These Resources?

When you're prompted for a student/staff ID and your last name, type in your student/staff number (all numbers, no dashes, no spaces) including ALL leading zeroes and your last name. For example:

  • Student/Staff ID: 123456789
  • Last Name: smith

Click the "Submit" button and you're in! Once you have been authenticated, you can begin searching the resource. If you have any problems accessing the databases, use the contact information in the Help box above to contact us.