Science Issues

Pro and Con

Tips for Finding Pro and Con Articles

Tip 1: Get background information to explore the topic and understand your approach

Read a quick article from Encyclopedia Britannica Online

Username: pcslibrary2

Password is the usual one

Tip 2: Come up with keywords that describe your topic.

Brainstorming keywords is a very important part of the research process. As you begin to look at your search results take note of any new keywords that are relevant and incorporate those into your next search.

Think about using BROADER terms to get more results, and NARROWER terms to retrieve fewer results.

Possible keywords to add to your science topic keywords are listed below.

  • pro/con

  • viewpoint*

  • controvers*

  • argument*

  • editorial*

  • perspectiv*

If you were researching Euthanasia for example, you might search (Euthanasia AND controver*)

Tip 3: Search the Databases

Put your keywords in databases to search for articles that either support or oppose your topic.

It can be tricky to find articles that support a certain point of view. Try one or more of these methods when searching:

  • Try a search term that has a point of view embedded in it (for example: "right to die,” “pro-choice,” etc.).

  • Some databases let you limit your search to editorials, opinion essays, or commentaries, from the Advanced Search page.

  • Add a search term such as debate, controversy, controversial, pro, proponent, support, benefit, opponent, opposition, con, counter, ban, negative, ethical, ethics, moral, rights, etc.

Tip 4: What should I consider before searching for Pro/Con arguments?

  • Currency of Topic: Pro/Con arguments typically address current, controversial issues.

  • Scope of Topic: You are most likely to locate Pro/Con arguments that are of national or international interest. Arguments on issues of local or regional interest may be more difficult to locate.

  • Author’s Argument: If available, the abstract may provide a brief summary of the author’s viewpoint. Remember, each author will emphasize very different points in their argument — don’t rule out an article because it’s not written from “your side.”



This is a trial of various databases that we have for just 30 days (if it's useful we may get it!)

For this project the databases which may be most helpful are:

Facts on File: Issues and Controversies

Facts on File: Science Online

Facts on File: Today's Science

Username = pacificchristian

Password = online

Canadian Points of View

This is a bear to get to but will yield GOLD!!! I promise!

Username: pcslibrary

Password: the usual one

Scroll down to Ebsco Host: Directory of Databases and click to open.

Then scroll down to Canadian Points of View and click to open.

(This is NOT Canada in Context)

Scroll down to Browse by Category, and pick a topic.

Once you are in your topic, you can read the Overview.

Here's the gold: on the right sidebar they have Point and Counterpoint which will give you two points of view about your topic, and annotated bibliography!!!!

Here's a silent video of me walking you through this:

Encyclopedia Britannica Online

Gives a good basic overview of your topic.

Username: pcslibrary2

Password is the usual one

Science in Context

Go to Browse Topics on the top right of the page to find a topic

Go to Advanced Search (right under the Search Bar).

Use some of the keyword terms we suggested at the top of this page.

Username: pcslibrary

Password: the usual one

Global Issues in Context

Go to Browse Topics on the top right of the page to find a topic

Go to Advanced Search (right under the Search Bar).

Use some of the keyword terms we suggested at the top of this page.

Username: pcslibrary

Password: the usual one

Pro/Con Websites

Britannica Procon

Scroll down to the middle of the page for Science Topics

Once you select a topic you'll see Pro and Con Arguments at the bottom of the page. Under each argument, there are tiny numbers. These refer to the footnotes at the bottom of the page, indicating the reputable source these arguments came from. You can look them up to get more information.

Room for Debate from the New York Times

All Sides

Use AllSides Search for the latest news across the political spectrum on any political topic or issues, or pick from our list on the right side of the page

The Perspective

Get to know what the other side thinks.

Use the Search Bar on the upper right of the page to search for your topic.


Scroll through the topics. Click on one that interests you. Read the summary and check out the articles listed. Click on the Points For/Points Against to see different perspectives.

Sites to Find Science Topics

You might want to check these out to find a topic or more information about your topic.

Search within the sites below here:

Science News for Students is an award-winning online publication dedicated to providing age-appropriate, topical science news to learners, parents and educators. SNS is a publication of the Science News Media Group, which is a program of the Society for Science & the Public (SSP), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. SNS— which is both ad-free and free to use — helps to fulfill the Society’s mission by connecting the latest in scientific research to learning in and out of the classroom.

Adult version of the above

Science in the News/ Harvard University

CBC Science and Technology News News

Globe and Mail Science

BBC Science and Environment News

Global Science News

American Association for the Advancement of Science: News

Future of Life


Use Noodletools to keep track of your Bibliography. If you can't remember how to, ask Mrs. Watts!

Here are some How to Noodletools videos.