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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. Search "opposing viewpoints" or "taking sides" in PittCat. We have quite a few at Owen Library, but it's easy to get books from other campus libraries too using the Get It! request service.