Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Public Speaking: Welcome

This guide provides links to materials for topics appropriate for speeches and debates.

Introduction to Public Speaking Research

Welcome to the Public Speaking Library Resource Guide. 

This guide is intended to guide you through the process of conducting research to prepare informative and persuasive speeches and debates.

Picking a Topic

The topic you select will depend on the purpose of your speech. For example, you might need to:

  • educate or inform your audience
  • pursuade your audience to agree with you
  • demonstrate a technique or process
  • debate a controversial issue
  • commemorate or pay tribute to a person, place, or event.

Some good sources for topic ideas include textbooks, newspapers, magazines, and other news sources. 

Databases such as CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints, Points of View, and Issues & Controversies are browsable by topic, in addition to being good places to begin gathering information.  (Click on any of these links to open in a second tab).

Supporting Your Points

Regardless of the final project, incorporating information from reliable sources will help make your speech stronger, more interesting, and more credible. The reference sources, periodicals, and web resources suggested in this guide are good places to gather research.