Review your course readings or think about your personal interests!
Check out news sites like New York Times or and blogs for recent or disputed topics
Browse sources like Journalist's Resource, CQ Researcher, Public Agenda, and ProCon.org for reports and analysis of controversial issues.
Explore an issue of a recent scholarly journal in your area.
If you already have a general idea of your topic:
Find an article on Wikipedia (Check the references for scholarly sources and the Talk page for controversies.)
Use Google or another search engine to find more background information (Look for credible sources!)
Search or browse through popular news and magazines like Time or Newsweek using the library catalog (PRIMO) search or a database like Academic Search Complete (NOTE: You can search for your topic and narrow down to certain magazines using the Source Type or Publication Title options to the right.)
Find an overview report or background information
Instead of diving right into the article literature, try seeing if there's an overview report available.
The U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) is where Members of Congress turn for confidential, nonpartisan research and analysis on a range of issues. A number of libraries and non-profit organizations have sought to collect as many of the released reports as possible. UNT's collection is a centralized utility that brings together these collections to search.
Supported by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Journalist's Toolbox lists web sites to go to for background information on current issues and more general reference sites for topics such as public records, expert sources, and statistics. Formerly housed by the American Press Institute.
Issues and controversial subjects in the news. In-depth coverage of a single topic at a time, with extensive text and bibliographies. CQ Global Researcher covers international issues and crises. Coverage: 1991-present.