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In these topic guides created by the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library staff, you will find sources that introduce you to your topic and keep you up-to-date with links to news articles, research websites, journal articles, and research reports.
Racial and Ethnic Issues (Affirmative Action and Diversity, Drug Policies, Immigration, Police and Police Tactics, Welfare Reform, and several others)
Law and Legal Issues (Abortion Rights, Campaign Finance, Capital Punishment, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, Free Speech and Censorship, Gun Control and Gun Rights, Marijuana Legalization and Medical Marijuana, and many more)
Health and Medicine (Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, Autism, Drugs in Sports, Genetic Engineering, Global Health Issues, Obesity, Stem Cell Research, and more)
Food and Agriculture (Farm Crisis and Agricultural Policy, Food Safety, Hunger, Water Resources and Drought, and others)
Family (Adoption, Bullying and Cyberbullying, Eating Disorders, Gay Rights, Gender Equality, Homelessness, Hunger, Teen Suicide, and several more)
Media (Media Bias, Media Violence, Social Media, and others)
And many, MANY more! Click on the link above to see the nearly 100 topics currently available
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.
Tips for choosing a topic:
(MAKE SURE YOUR TOPIC FITS WITHIN THE ASSIGNED THEME WHICH CAN BE FOUND AT THE TOP OF THE ASSIGNMENT SHEET)
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?)
Informative speeches are simply to inform. Do not take or advocate a position. You are to remain objective and simply present the issue.
During persuasive speeches, you should take a side on an issue and suggest creative and workable solutions to the problem you present.
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.
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.