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SPE 101: Explore Topics

All the best resources for you to start your speech, all in one location.

Background Information

Off-Campus Access

If accessing the database off-campus you will be required to sign on with the same user name and password you use to access the student portal.

Choosing Your Topic

Step 1 - Read your assignment

Right after you receive the assignment, read through your assignment and make sure you understand what your instructor wants. The assignment may be very specific, giving you only a few choices, or very open, allowing you to pick based on your own interests.

Double check your idea with your instructor to make sure it meets his or her expectations. Ask any questions you have about the assignment. A quick email or a word after class could save you having to start all over again!

Your instructor might also be able to make some suggestions if you are truely stuck. Or, if you have several ideas that seem equally good, your instructor could help you choose the one that's the best fit for the class.

Step 2 - Choose something that will keep you interested - It will help you give a better

No one says that research has to be boring! In fact, it should be a chance for you to steer your own learning.

Maybe you would like to tie your topic back to your major? For example:


   Nursing During World War II

   Changes in how people used the Internet: 2000 to today

   History of the oil industry


   Nurses should be assigned shorter hospital shifts

   Using the Internet ruins face-to-face relationships

   The oil industry should be held responsible for damages to the evirnoment caused by their equipment

Maybe you would like to learn something new about your own personal interests? For example:


   History of Jazz Music

   1960's fashions

   Victory Gardens in World War II


   Jazz music is the greatest influence that led to other American music style, like rock.

   Dressing well improves self image

   Personal gardens lead to a more environmentally friendly way of life

Maybe you would like to learn about a completely new topics? 

Take a look at some of our resources in the Backgroung Information Box, and see if a smaller topic or chapter is interesting to you.

Page through your text books or recommended readings for other classes. Was there one aspect that you wanted to learn more about?

Consider topics from one of these book series. They are available at the library and are an excellent starting place, especially for persuasive speeches.