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 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.