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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.

Where To Do Preliminary Reading:

Step Three: Sketch out the Story You Want to Tell

Your professor will provide samples of organizational pattern(s) appropriate for various types of speeches. For instance, some speeches lend themselves to a chronological order, where others work well as a cause-effect presentation, and so on. As you do your background reading, pay attention to how the sources you find organize information on your topic. What works for you? Will it work for your audience? Decide upon your organization and begin to sketch out the story you want to tell.

After you land on an effective organization pattern, your job is to find the best sources possible to help you tell that story in a compelling -- and credible -- way. As you begin to gather the best sources, 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; MJC research librarians are 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

Chat With A Librarian

Meet with a Librarian

Meet with a librarian online using Zoom

We can schedule 30-minute appointments.

You can choose to work with a particular librarian or just choose anyone who is available at the time you need. Once you schedule your appointment, your librarian will contact you with the Zoom meeting information.

Click the Schedule Your Appointment button to begin.

Your Librarians: