Skip to Main Content

How to Research for a Debate Using Library Resources: Statistics

Recommended resources for researching a debate topic

Finding Reliable Statistics

In many of the debate formats, coaches and judges frequently advise debaters to "quantify" their position. Statistics can be incredibly confusing. Even when statistical facts come from reputable sources, such as the one's you can find below, collection methods, sample size, base rate fallacy, pseudo replication, and dozens of other statistical and reasoning errors, can render seeming solid numbers vulnerable to attacks from your opponents. Many debaters don't feel confident enough to challenge the provenance and validity of the their opponents questionable statistics. To remedy this, debaters should read an engaging primer on the basic principles of statistics. 


Books that Can Help You Interpret Statistics

Popular Public Opinion Measuring Tools

Statistical Resources at NYPL

Featured Database

Statistical Tool for a Visual Learner

Criminal Justice Statistics