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SPCH 1311 / SPCH 1315 / SPCH 1321 SO: Starting Your Research

Where Do I Go?

For many students, choosing a topic is one of the hardest things to do in this class. It may help if you brainstorm with a friend or family member who knows you well. Start with your interests. What do you like to do? What do you do well? Essentially you are teaching your fellow classmates about your topic. If it is something unique or new to them---that will usually catch their interest. 

Once you have some potential topics you will want to ask yourself some questions about each topic in order to find the best one for you and your audience.

  • Am I interested in the topic?
  • Will I enjoy researching this topic?
  • Will I enjoy talking about this topic and sharing my information with my audience?
  • Will my audience be interested in my topic?
  • Am I passionate about this topic?

If you can answer yes to all of the above questions then you have selected a great topic for you and your audience.

Research Tip: Before you commit to a topic, choose at least three that you have interest in and do a little pre-searching with some library resources and choose the topic that you find enough research information for.

Internet Sites for Topics

There are also some sites on the Internet that are useful for helping you choose a topic for your speech. Some of the better known ones are linked below.

10,000+ Speech Topics

Good Speech Topics

Finding Speech Topics

Internet or Databases?

The Internet is good for a lot of searches and source types.  For example, if you need very current information or news and commentary, Web searching is a good strategy.

Databases are special -- they are collections of information (usually articles from magazines and scholarly sources) made available to subscribers.  Databases are very valuable because they contain and maintain specific collections, and are relatively easy to search.  We use the Web to access Database collections, but articles accessed are not considered "online" or "web" sources in the same way that a Wikipedia entry is.