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SPC 1608 (Dr. Pierre): Informative & Persuasive Speeches: Choosing Your Topic

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Identify a Current Event or Recent Controversy

By following the news, you may be able to think of some recent current events.  However, if you have trouble identifying a current event, you may try the following for topic/current event ideas:

Narrow Your Topic

Narrowing a topic means thinking of different aspects, or angles, of the topic.

For example, for the topic ECONOMIC CRISIS you could research:

  • causes
  • effect on the housing market
  • is the recession over?
  • are we headed for another recession?
  • effects on other countries
  • unemployment
  • local impact
  • obama's response
  • did the stimulus work?

Any of these aspects or angles could be a paper topic by itself. Or, you could choose two or three to cover as points in your paper.

EXERCISE: Write your topic in the center of a piece of paper. Draw lines radiating out from it like spokes. For each spoke, write a narrower topic that is related to the center topic. This is called a Concept Map.

Use the database Opposing Viewpoints in Context to help you narrow your topic.