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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.

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 PittCat and the library databases mentioned in this guide - just click on the  "Finding Books" or "Finding Articles" tabs to the left.

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?


Suggestions for Topics

Opposing Viewpoints & Taking Sides

The University Library System 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 use Get it! request books from other ULS libraries.