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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 offers further general library information and lists databases whose primary scope and function pertain to argument and persuasion. It also provides suggestions for refining 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.  Other databases may be accessed via the List of Electronic Resources and Databases found on the library's homepage.  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.  


Searching Other Databases

Basic aggregator databases like those provided by EBSCOhost or Gale also may be used to find materials for argumentative research.  The best results are obtained by using these databases in their Advanced Search mode.

Getting Started

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

2.  Place the topic of your argument (umbrella term) in the top search box. 

Refining the Focus

To limit your search results to argumentative (rather than purely expository) writing, in the middle search box place a "discourse type" limiter.  Examples:  

  • pro(s), con(s), pros and cons 
  • oppose, support
  • editorial, op-ed, opinion, viewpoint

Using standard sub-headings from the library catalog can refine the approach you take to your topic.

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

Demographic limiters can be placed in the bottom search box to emphasize or block 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.