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SPC 1608 (Jackson) - Informative Speech: Brainstorming Topics

This guide is for Professor Jackson's speech classes working on the informative speech.

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Use your VID number as your Borrower ID (include the V).

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Identifying a Current Event

If you follow the news you may be able to think of some events recently featured in the news.

Or try Google News and browse the stories.

Or try Need a Research Topic? in Issues & Controversies (lower right-hand corner of the screen; click More Research Topics).

Or browse Hot Topics in Newsbank (upper right-hand corner of the search screen under Other Newsbank Products).

Narrowing a 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.