Most students find the following print sources helpful. Read through the list under each heading.

Nonfiction books: Opposing Viewpoints series, biographies, autobiographies, books by authorities in the field; Professional Journals: The Journal of the American Medical Association, The American Journal of Sports Medicine; Newspapers: New York Times, Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News, Local Newspaper; Periodicals: Newsweek, Time, Sporst Illustrated, National Geographic, Popular Science

A photo from a 1978 Tennis match showing Billie Jean King. She looks like she may be about to speak, or she’s waiting for an announcement or result.

Source: Billie Jean King, Mitchell Weinstock, Flickr

Since you need two print sources for your persuasive essay, let’s use a book source and a newspaper source. For the book source, read the following notes from Venus and Serena Williams: A Biography by Jacqueline Edmondson:

Note #1 Note #2 Note #3
A year after Title IX was signed into law, tennis champion Billie Jean King, discouraged with the discrepancies between how men and women were treated in professional tennis, founded the WTA, becoming its first president. At the time, professional male tennis players were paid, on average, eight times more than women. A male tennis player might earn $12,500 for winning a tournament, whereas a woman might earn $11,500. The WTA was the first successful tennis tour for women as it worked to bring more equality to the world of women’s sports. In 1973, the U.S. Open became the first tournament to offer equal prize money for men and women. By the time Venus and Serena entered the professional tennis circuit in the 1990s, women were being paid sums of money Althea Gibson and tennis players of her era could never have imagined. In addition to the money professional women tennis players earned for tournament play, many received millions more for endorsements from major corporations like Reebok, Nike, Adidas, and others. In marking the 25th anniversary of Title IX legislation, then Secretary of Education Richard Riley noted some of the challenges that remained, including sexual harassment, unequal pay, and the fact that only one third of intercollegiate athletic scholarships were awarded to women. Although Riley noted the progress women had achieved in athletics, he believed there was still much work to do.

take notes icon Each quote has some value to the topic of women in sports. Use your notes to complete the tasks below. When you’re finished, check your understanding to see other possible responses to these questions.

  1. Summarize the information in Note #1.
  2. Summarize the information in Note #2.
  3. Summarize the information in Note #3.
  4. Which note contains specific information about equality for women in professional sports?
  5. Which note contains specific information about equality for women in collegiate sports?
  6. Which note would you probably not use as a direct quote or paraphrase in your essay and why?
Check Your Understanding
Sample Responses:
  1. WTA was formed so women tennis players would receive equal pay to male tennis players. This eventually led to the U.S. Open offering equal prize money for men and women.
  2. By the 1990s, women tennis players were receiving lucrative endorsement deals.
  3. Even after 25 years of Title IX, challenges still exist in the areas of sexual harassment, unequal pay, and scholarships for collegiate female athletes.
  4. Note #1
  5. Note #3
  6. Note #2 because it goes off the topic by talking about endorsements
A woman’s tennis game. The photograph shows a player appearing to hang in the air as she jumps to return a shot. A banner behind her advertises several local businesses and a few software companies.

Source: “Ame He,” ph-stop, Flickr

How did you do? When you read a book, you may come across information that is interesting or an idea that you never thought of before, but be careful; stay focused on your position and keep it at the forefront of your research. For example, Note #2 contains some interesting facts about corporate dollars contributing to women gaining equality in professional tennis, but that’s not really going to help support your arguments as much as the other notes. Notes #1 and #3 provide specific information, such as the discrepancies between the winnings of men and women, that could be used to back up your arguments. One thing to remember is that searching for useful information takes time and patience. It looks easy when you’re simply choosing which box is helpful in this lesson, but when you are the one finding the information and deciding whether or not it’s useful, it will take more time to find good sources.

take notes icon Now read a newspaper article from the New York Times. You might want to take notes on your own paper as you read the article. When you’re finished, answer the questions below using your notes to write your responses. Check your understanding afterward to see another possible response.

Using Teamwork to Bring Girls Into the Game

  1. What expert organizations are mentioned with facts and statistics?
  2. What experts are quoted in the article?
  3. What information might be most helpful for writing a persuasive essay about gender equality
    in sports and why?
Check Your Understanding

Sample Responses:

  1. What expert organizations are mentioned with facts and statistics?
    • MetroLacrosse: Boston group that serves 600 children
    • Harvard School of Public Health: In 2002, a report said that 49% of girls make up Boston’s young people, but only 33% participate in after-school sports programs
    • The Boys & Girls Clubs of America: Of its 1.7 million members, 43% are girls. Percentage of girls who participate is lower in sports-specific programs like basketball and baseball.
    • Centers for Disease Control: In New York City, 35% of girls play sports, 51% of boys. In Boston, 42% of girls participated in sports. The national average for girls is 50%.
    • Public Schools Athletic League: 44% of girls make up NYC’s squads.
    • G-Row: It serves 200 girls a year and 75% of girls return each year; nearly every alumna attends college.

  2. What experts are quoted in the article?
    • Tracey Britton, MetroLacrosse, director of youth and rookie programs
    • Don Sabo, Boston Girls’ Sports and Physical Activity, project evaluation director
    • Tes Siarnacki, Sports4Kids, recess coordinator at a school in East Boston
    • Kharimasud Olufemi, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, director of sports, fitness and recreation
    • Cicley Gay, GoGirlGo! senior program officer
    • Regan Bernhard, G-Row, Boston program director

  3. What information might be most helpful for writing a persuasive essay about gender equality in sports and why?
    • Answers will vary. Any information that shows the discrepancy of girls having limited opportunity, access, or funding for physical or sport activities will provide strong support for an essay. A blend of data and facts from a reputable organization, along with a direct quote from an authority on girls in sports, will be beneficial for writing the persuasive essay.
Getting ready to return a tennis volley in a woman’s tennis game

Source: “Women Tennis Trophy Charleroi,” Olivier Bourgi, Flickr

Scouting for the best source and then the best possible data, facts, and ideas will help you stay organized and focused on your persuasive essay. Remember to have a variety of types of information such as facts, statistics, and expert quotes to give your reader the most accurate information on the topic.

So, now you have two print resources—a nonfiction book and a newspaper article—to fulfill the print source requirements. Remember to read your assignment instructions or check with your teacher about the kind of sources you need when you write an essay.