Criminal Justice Reform

This year’s debate topic will focus on the issue of criminal justice reform. Central points include sentencing issues—mandatory minimums, truth in sentencing laws, and racial disparities; policing reform, including the role of police vs. social workers and health care workers as well as police brutality; reducing overcriminalization, particularly of drug possession; the War on Drugs […]

Education Reform

Education Reform is the focus of the National Forensics League’s 2017-2018 Policy Debate. Articles discuss different strategies in reforming primary and secondary education in the U.S.

The Digital Age

The Digital Age challenges us to understand not only the great potential good offered by modern digital technology but its negative consequences.

Representative American Speeches 2019-2020

The most memorable speeches from a variety of speakers are discussed in this issue, allowing an opportunity to analyze the year’s most pressing and controversial topics. Speakers from many walks of life are featured, including education, politics, science and research, and popular culture.

Propaganda & Misinformation

This edition of Reference Shelf looks at propaganda and misinformation. Social media posts inciting sectarian violence, government-manipulated misinformation campaigns, for-profit fake news headlines, and well-meaning but gullible individuals promoting conspiracies point up the problems with our current media environment.

Prescription Drug Abuse

This collection explores different views on the causes of and potential solutions to the long-term risks of prescription drug abuse.


Islands of plastic waste, chemicals from everyday products and prescription drugs, and farm animal waste are all contributing to the destruction of our environment and climate change. Such issues, and the difficulty of solving them, are the subject of this Reference Shelf.

LGBTQ in the 21st Century

Issues explored in this title include the role of non-traditional same-sex families, and expanded protections for transgender people under the framework of civil rights.

Internet Law

This issue of Reference Shelf explores evolving cyberlaw pertaining to such issues as data privacy, freedom of expression, intellectual property, e-commerce, and contract law. Free and open source software licensing raises questions regarding developer’s liability and trade secrets. Recent advances in surveillance and tapping and in computerized voting technology have also raised many legal issues. The jurisdiction […]