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Public Speaking - Johnstown Campus: Choosing a Topic

A guide to print, electronic, and Internet resources available for Public Speaking students.

Ask Yourself ...

Ask yourself the following questions about your topic to make sure you've picked a topic that will keep both yourself and your audience engaged. If you can answer yes to all the questions, you're ready to start gathering sources.

  • 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?

Source

Suggestions for Topics

Selecting a Topic

Deciding on a topic can be one of the toughest parts of preparing a speech. The resources on this page can help start the brainstorming process. You can also look for background information in the books or article databases mentioned in this guide - just click on the  "Finding Books" or "Finding Articles" tabs at the top of the page.

Opposing Viewpoints & Taking Sides

The ULS has a number of books from the Opposing Viewpoints and Taking Sides series that can assist you in determining topics for a persuasive or informative speech. We have quite a few at Owen Library, but it's easy to get books from other campus libraries too. Search "opposing viewpoints" or "taking sides" in PITTCat+ and click Get it! for books at other ULS libraries.

Points of View Reference Center

Instructional Tutorials @ ULS

Each ULS tutorial introduces and teaches an information seeking concept or skill. In order to view and use these tutorials, users should download Adobe Shockwave Player 7 or later. The tutorials are best viewed using speakers or headphones.