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Writing 60: Argument & Research: AP Resources

Recommended resources for students working on their Writing 60 research and writing assignments.

Search Strategies

Research Tip: add advocacy language to your search



Advocacy Synonyms:

  • proposal
  • policy
  • standard
  • regulation
  • position
  • guideline
  • protocol
  • legislation
  • rule
  • recommendation

Find Advocacy Resources

"Activism is action on behalf of a cause, action that goes beyond what is conventional or routine. The action might be door-to-door canvassing, alternative radio, public meetings, rallies, or fasting..." Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice 

Finding Activism and Grass-roots Advocacy

Community activists and advocates work in their communities and communicate to the public through easily-accessible platforms such as social media, websites, or podcasts. Listening to the voices of activists and following movements can help you follow current conversations happening around advocacy on a topic. There is no easy database or academic resource that compiles all of this in one place.

Here are some tips to find relevant voices:

  • Follow social media hashtags related to movements and then identify individual activists to follow
  • Look in sources like CQ Researcher or in news articles for names of individuals or organizations involved in activism or advocacy
  • The Student Activism website by Accredited Schools Online links to various resources and organizations related to activism, geared towards students

Academic Databases

You can use many of the same databases you used for the Context Paper to find scholarly articles and other sources that may study potential advocacy solutions or policies. Use the Research Tip in the box above to add words like "proposal" or "recommendation" to a search that you conducted for your CP.

Use the databases that were most useful to you in the CP based on your theme and paper topic.


Newspapers can be helpful sources of current information about new policies. Editorials and the Op-Ed pages are particularly good places to look, because they are spaces in which people write about problems and how they might be solved.

View the "News" tab in your theme related to your CP. 

"Policy" is a generic term that can describe a wide range of formal or informal documents that describe proposed action or guidelines of behavior. Policies can be very local in nature (e.g. a company policy), or they can be very broad recommendations upon which laws can be based (e.g. environmental policy). 

Resources to find and evaluate policies from Think Tanks

Think tanks are institutes that research and produce policy documents and recommendations, and can be influential in politics and public opinion. 

Well-known Think Tanks

The following are large, well-known think tanks that focus on a variety of issues:

Legislation refers to the formal process of creating laws by a governing body such as Congress or a state legislature.

These sources can help you track down the text of specific legislation. However, it is often useful to find out about legislation through news sources or through resources like CQ Researcher that provide more context for why legislation is proposed.

State Legislation

Federal Legislation

International Legislation

Use the resources below to find data and make your own graphs and charts to show trends. You can also look in newspapers and databases to find graphs and charts created by others.

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