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Introduction to Speech Research Guide

A guide to resources useful for finding information for the informative and persuasive speeches

Speech Topic Selection

Before looking for information to use for a speech, determine the topic of the speech.

What is the purpose of my speech?  (to inform, to persuade, etc.)

Write several sentences describing what you want to speak about.

To further define your research topic, consider the following items:

  • Specific Time Span:

  • Place (ex. country, state, rural, urban):

  • Event or Aspect:

  • Person or Group:

Circle the two or three most important ideas in your research topic from the sentences you wrote and/or the above box.

You may find it helpful to write a single sentence which expresses the central idea of your speech (a thesis or topic sentence).

The information posted below about Developing Search Terms provides additional useful information as well.

Define Concepts

Defining your terms is so important on two levels: 

1) When you are doing research, make sure that you know how a term is being used in the resources you select AND that your resources are using a correct definition of a term. 

2) When you present research, either in a speech or in writing, make sure that you define your term so that your audience know how you are using it and in what context. 


If your speech invokes "Christians should" or "should not" for any reason, make sure to include Scripture to back up your point. However, be careful not to pick a single verse out of context. Remember 2 Timothy 2:15!