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Speech Research Basics: Home

Step-by-step guidance for students tasked with writing and delivering speeches.

Step One: Choose a Meaningul, Appropriate Topic

Carefully review your assignment and then choose a meaningful topic that satisfies your instructor's requirements. Librarians are happy to help you brainstorm potential topics and/or point you toward databases providing topic ideas. Bring your assignment description (and outline template) with you when you visit the Research Help Desk.

Need to find a current event, controversial issue, or societal problem for a persuasive speech? Try these databases!

Step Two: Do Some Preliminary Reading

Do some background reading to get more acquainted with your topic and help figure out the story you want to tell in your speech. Preliminary reading is a great help in developing your main points, as well as identifying useful search terms for future database searching. The point is not to start gathering your actual sources -- though you may very well find some along the way -- but to get comfortable with your topic by consulting engaging, easy to understand sources.


Step Three: Outline the Story You Want to Tell

Your professor will usually provide a sample of the organizational pattern(s) they require you to use for various types of speeches. Use this organizational pattern to outline the specific aspects of your topic you will share with your audience. This step is really challenging if you have skipped Step 2!

After your outline is roughed out, your job is to find the best sources possible to help you tell that story in a compelling (and credible) way. Be sure to pay attention to the number and type of sources required by your professor. 

Step Four: Find Your Sources

The MJC Library & Learning Center subscribes to roughly 100 databases. Listed below are some of our most popular databases; an MJC research librarian will be happy to point you toward the best database(s) for your given topic. A complete list of MJC Databases can be found under the Articles and Databases link on the MJC Library & Learning Center home page. 


Step Five: Evaluate ALL Sources Before Use

CRAAP Test criteria

Step Six: Cite Your Sources Appropriately

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