The website's mission is to promote critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format.
Topics such as Sex and Gender, Religion, and Media and Entertainment have at least one pro/con issue. The "for" and "against" text is in two columns, preceded by a "Did you know" and followed by a background essay. Footnotes are embedded in the text with many live links.
CQ Researcher is noted for its in-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy.
Reports are published weekly 44 times a year. Each single-themed, 12,000-word report is researched and written by a seasoned journalist, each providing researchers with 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. The CQ Researcher Plus Archive adds more than 3,000 reports, published between 1923 and 1990 to CQ Researcher Online.