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Speech Assignment Research Guide

A guide to finding sources for your speech.

Getting Started by Choosing a Topic

The first step in beginning your research is to select a topic. Based on the time length of your speech and assignment criteria, choose a topic or issue you can clearly present. If you are undecided, below is a link to over 70 suggested topics that include resources to help you begin the research process.

How do I choose information related to my research topic?

Evaluation helps to determine whether the sources you have located provide credible information that is relevant to your research question. When evaluating a source, consider the author, audience, relevance, bias, and date. 

Use the CRAAP Test below to evaluate sources for your topics.
  • Currency
  • Relevance
  • Authority
  • Accuracy
  • Purpose

What are the criteria for evaluating information?


Criteria Questions to Consider


 Is the author an expert on the subject?


 Is the information from a popular or scholarly source?


 Does the content of the book/article discuss your research question?


 Does the author present information based on facts or opinion?


 How recently was the book/article published?

Develop a Search Strategy

To effectively search the library catalog or databases for relevant information, it is important to develop a search strategy. After choosing a topic, the next step is to develop a research question. A research question will help you identify keywords. What is a keyword? A keyword is a specific term which describes an event, person or place. Keywords help you find information in a catalog or database. Once you have selected a keyword or keywords, brainstorm to identify synonyms and related terms. Using different search terms will help you find more information on your research topic.

Topic: Facebook

Research Question: How does Facebook affect personal privacy?

Keywords: Facebook and Privacy

Related Terms: Social Network(s) and Confidentiality

Topic Research Question