uniE610 Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

 HCS100 - Intro to Human Communication

Selecting a Topic

Select a topic or issue which interests you. Researching something interesting is much easier than researching something which means nothing to you. 

  1. Tips for choosing a topic:
    • Choose a topic that interests you
      (i.e., What are you interested in? What are your hobbies?)
    • Choose a topic that interests your audience
      (Do some general audience analysis to decide what members might enjoy hearing about or might need to learn.)
    • Choose a topic that fits your occasion and setting
      (Is there a holiday or event approaching? If the occasion is a speech class, what is appropriate for a college setting?)
    • Some topics are inherently inappropriate for speech class. Don't advocate or endorse illegal and/or unethical activities. Watch out for topics that are boring or overused
      (If we have heard about the dangers of underage drinking all of our lives, what difference is your 5 minute speech going to make? What can you do with the topic to make it fresh or unique?)
  2. Informative speeches are simply to inform. Do not take or advocate a position. You are to remain objective and simply present the issue.
  3. During persuasive speeches, you should take a side on an issue and suggest creative and workable solutions to the problem you present.
  4. Websites such as the following can help you as you narrow topic choices (http://www.speech-topics-help.com/). There are some bad suggestions and overdone topics on the list, so use good judgment.
  5. Research steps: a) assess your personal knowledge--decide what you already know about your subject so you know where to move next; b) ask yourself: what information do I need? Where am I most likely to find it? How can I obtain this information? And How will time constraints affect my research options?; c) collect information from a variety of sources--there are pros and cons to every type of source; d) record the important information, and e) evaluate the quality of the material

Make sure to cite your sources! If you got an idea or an explanation of a theory from your textbook, you still need to cite it. Skipping citations is a silly reason to lose points.