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Introduction to Speech Research Guide

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

Is this the best source to use?

You have a responsibility to carefully evalute your information sources to make sure they are appropriate to use and to make sure the source fits your speech's topic and purpose.  Utilize the following criteria to help evaluate your sources.


Who is the author of the information?
• Does the author have credentials or degrees showing expertise in the subject?
• Does the author’s occupation or life experience provide expertise?
Is the author or website affiliated with an organization?
• Is the organization well-known and reputable?
• Is the organization affiliated with a particular profession or a research institution?
• Do other resources refer to this organization and their research?
Is the author referenced in other sources?
• Has your instructor mentioned this author?
• Is this author cited in the bibliography of other resources such as subject reference works or journal articles?
Does the author have a particular bias?


Is the information reliable and accurate?
• Can the information be verified?
• Are references provided to other information resources in a bibliography or footnotes?
How does the information compare to other resources you have used?
• Does it thoroughly cover your topic?
• Does it cover a specific aspect of your topic in detail?
• Does it add new information or a different perspective on your topic than other resources?
Who is the intended audience? Is the resource written for specialists or for a general audience?
Is it well-written and organized in a logical manner?
• Can you follow the progression of ideas or are new ideas introduced out of no where?
• Is the resource readable? Does it have short, choppy sentences or is there sentence variety?


Is the information current for your topic?
• What is the date of the publication?
• Is your topic related to a field that is changing quickly and requires current information? Or is your topic related to a field where information from previous decades is needed or provides an interesting comparison?