Useful Resources

Use the resources illustrated in the infographic below to help you with your research.

  • As you search for ideas for a topic, check out various News Sites to see what topics are currently in the news.
  • Under Hot Topics, you will find lists of current (within the last few months) controversial topics that are receiving attention in the media and in politics.
  • Look at some of the Organizations, or specific think tanks, to learn about what topics are currently on their radars.
  • Use the Reference Materials to search for your topic in order to gain background information.
  • Read about various Organizations to see whether they might be a stakeholder for your topic.
    • *Note: the organizations listed in Section 2 are local organizations and might not be applicable for some topics.  
    • You can also search for national organizations using the Google Custom Search link that is listed under the ‘Miscellaneous’ section.
  • Check out some of the Miscellaneous resources to search for more information on your topic, read more on current issues, or find information on various organizations and government offices.
  • Consult the resources under Policy to search for specific policy that addresses your topic’s controversy.
  • To find evidence, statistics, and data that supports the stakeholders’ arguments, use the resources under Statistics/Data.

*Note: This is not an inclusive list of resources that are available for you research.  The resources provided here are meant to simply serve as starting point for your research.

Filter by Local State National

Finding a Topic


News Sites

NY Times is a great source The Washington Post Yahoo PressAnnette Strauss Institute for Civic Life (UT)Google News Austin Chamber of Commerce Austin Business JournalAustin American Statesmen TimeWarner Cable: Austin News Houston Chronicle The Austin Chronicle The Texas Tribune PBS Frontline


Think Tanks Texas Freedom Network Save our Spring Alliance

Hot Topics

Texas Legislative Library: Current News Taking Sides Opposing Views Congressional Digest CQ Researcher Information Plus Texas Observer LexisNexis Academic

Defining a Topic


Reference Materials

credo referenceGale Virtual Reference Library Library Search Engine wikipedia


Downtown Austin AllianceBike Austin Capital Metro Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Austin City Links Austin Independent School District Rotary Club of Austin


State & Local Government Taking Sides Information Plus Metropolitan Austin Interactive NetworkUnited States Government Printing Office Texas State Library and Arhives Commission Federation of American Scientists

Developing the Topic



Congressional Research Servicetexas.govLegal Collection DatabasesLegal Information Institute LexisNexis AcademicTexas Legislature Online congressional digest Legislative Reference Library Austin Code of Ordinance


Texas Politics Project Historical Statistics of the US fedStats ProQuest statista

Information Plus Library Search EngineAustin Crime Statistics Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas