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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.

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: Social Media

Research Question: How does Social Media affect personal privacy?

Keywords: Social Media and Privacy

Related Terms: Social Network(s) and Confidentiality

Topic Research Question