British Parliamentary Debate

Welcome to the research guide for British Parliamentary Debate.

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As you prepare for parliamentary debates,  the following resources will be helpful as you develop a context for your arguments and define the terminologies used in debates on current topics.

On-Campus Collection

Your professor has recommended the following resources that are on one week reserve at the circulation desk:

  • Across the house: the art and sciences of world universities championship debating by Ian Lising 

  • CIA World Factbook 2014-15, 52nd edition (also available free online)

The following books are part of a series that will give you an overview or examples of stances on a controversial issue and may help you in selecting a debate topic. These provide an overview and are not sufficiently rigorous to entirely support your topic. You may find additional resources by checking the references listed within each book.

  • Opposing Viewpoints series: Each book is its own controversial topic. PHC currently has 4 books in the series: Nationalism, Patriot Act, Illegal Immigration, and Environment. 

  • Taking Sides Reference Library: Each book covers a variety of topics within a broader topic, i.e. controversial political issues. The PHC collection currently contains seven different topics: religion, world politics, moral issues, American history, world history, political issues, social issues.

Don't forget to search eBooks for more resources available immediately to read online or download if you are on the road!

Journals and Magazines

Locate online access to this journal through the library's Periodical Listing.

Economist (London) is available in print in the library and online through ProQuest. Many parliamentary topics are chosen from topics covered in The Economist, wherever and whenever you need it. Off-campus?


  • Heritage Foundation provides scholarly research on a variety of subjects, usually from a more conservative perspective.

  • Brookings Institute provides scholarly research on a variety of subjects, usually from a more liberal perspective. 

  • Intelligence Squared U S provides thoughtful pro and con arguments on a number of pertinent questions - "pointed political debate minus all the shouting." 

  •  Critical Thinking promotes societal change through the cultivation of fairminded critical thinking.

  • Ted provides access to Ted Talks, short informational sessions from creative thinkers, on ideas that can challenge and transform traditional thinking on a variety of societal and scientific issues. 

  • Constitutional Research Foundation provides programs and materials supporting civic participation in a democratic society including laws, civic institutions, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a free society.

Subject-specific Databases

  • CQ Researcher is published weekly on a topic of current interest. Reports include an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources. Articles range from 1923-present. Browse by topic, by date, or search by keyword. With the number of years included, it may give you a way to look at how the attitudes and arguments have changed over time.

  • Congressional Digest Debates is a monthly publication covering opposing views on controversial national issues. Documents are drawn from Congress, the Supreme Court, the United Nations and other international tribunals. Look for the recent issues section.

General Databases

  • ProQuest and Academic Search Premier - Periodical databases covering a wide range of topics. Use "Advanced Search" and limit your results to scholarly journals.

  • LexisNexis - Database of newspaper articles, broadcast news transcripts, SEC filings, tax law, state and federal cases, state and federal codes, elected officials, legislative bills, primary sources in US history, and statistical tables.

  • JSTOR - Database of scholarly articles from a broad variety of disciplines. Articles are not added to JSTOR until they are at least 3 years old. In "Advanced Search," you can check the box to include "articles outside of JSTOR" to find titles of articles published in recent years. 

  • Stratfor is a news analysis provider that covers current political, economic, and military developments and can provide background material for debates with international implications.

Research Tips

  • Search by subject: Once you have located a potential source in the catalog, click on the search term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects.

  • Once you locate a potential source, additional valuable resources may be listed in the item's bibliography.

  • If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan. ILL requests may be made directly in the library catalog.

  • Zotero is a free citation management system that allows you to collect, organize, and cite your resources. It will create your footnotes, end notes, in-text citations, and bibliographies. You may find that a librarian would be helpful in quickly learning the program and its functionality.

  • Citation assistance is available at OWL (Online Writing Lab) for Chicago/Turabian, MLA, and APA styling formats.

Created: Gladden, 2007. Updated: Thornhill, 2018. 

Patrick Henry College Library

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