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Course & Subject Guides

Public Speaking - Johnstown Campus

This guide will help Public Speaking students find source content for their informative and persuasive speeches.

Evaluating Information

As you research your speech topic, you're going to find lots of information from a vast array of sources. How will you know what's credible to use and is suitable for your speech? Incorporating information content from credible sources will make you more credible to your audience, so be sure to evaluate ALL information you find. Think critically and answer the following questions about what you find:

  • How relevant is it to the context of your speech?
  • Who is behind the information?
  • Why did they create it?
  • What is the evidence of their claims?,
    • and What do others say about them and their claims?
  • When was it created or published?

Using lateral reading to look beyond an individual source to learn what others have said about its author or publisher/organization and to fact-check the information against other sources on your research topic or question is a good practice that will help you!

Confirmation Bias Explained

"Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one's prior beliefs or values." (Wikipedia contributors. "Confirmation bias." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 Aug. 2023. Web. 15 Sep. 2023.)

One way you can combat confirmation bias is to approach doing research as an opportunity to disconfirm your hypothesis, beliefs, or worldview. Play the video to learn more!


Don't cherry-pick your information to prove your claims, while ignoring the information or evidence that contradicts them!