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COMM 301 (Cantrell)

COMM 301 (Cantrell)



Welcome to the LibGuide for Kim Cantrell's  COMM 301 classes.  This guide will help you with library research on your informative speeches. It will present information on searching books, databases and web sites that will help you define and support your topic.

Guide to the informative speech

The purpose of your informative speech is to explain a topic such as an idea, a person, an organization or an event, thus demonstrating that you have researched the topic.  Organize the information so your audience can follow the logical progression of your speech.


  • This is an explanatory informative speech. It is NOT a demonstration speech (“how to...”) nor a persuasive speech (telling us how you would like us to think, feel or act).
  • All sources cited orally. If you have questions regarding how to cite sources within a speech, please do not hesitate to ask.
  • You must orally cite at least THREE reputable sources of support using the citation format discussed in class. You will likely need more than three citations. Include these same sources in your typed works cited using APA format. The works cited page will be turned in to the instructor with your preparation outline on the day you give your speech. It is NOT a reference page. It only includes the citations that you make in your speech
  • Speeches will be 3-5 minutes long. You will receive point deductions if you speak over or under the allotted time. You may use up to three handwritten 4x6 index cards. Paper that is cut to the size of 4x6 index cards will not be accepted. Notes that are not standard index cards (like lined paper or a sheet of plain paper) and typed notes will not be allowed
  • The instructor must approve your topic or you will not be allowed to speak. No duplicate topics. If you would like to change your topic before speech day, the instructor must approve your new topic or you will not be allowed to speak



  • What is Coachella?
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Lucha Libre
  • All about Alexander Hamilton
  • The rise of social media as an example of maintaining community in the new Millennium
  • Body piercing
  • Who was Tupac Shakur?
  • Benefits of study abroad
  • History of kite flying in Afghanistan
  • What is DACA?


  • Topics to be posted on Canvas discussion topic page and approved by the instructor no later than 9pm on Tuesday, March 6. (Five points possible--all late topics receive a zero) Topic requests will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis. No duplicate topics.
  • Typed hard copy of the preparation outline (10 points) and works cited (5 points) due on the day you are assigned to present. (15 points possible. No late outlines or works cited accepted.)
  • Turn in your self-assessment #2 via Canvas on or before 9pm on Friday, March 23.


Are you interested in this topic?

  • Your research will be less tedious if you are looking for something you have a personal interest in.

What exactly is your assignment?

  • Check with your instructor and read your research assignment to make sure that you are following the instructions properly.

Questions that can help clarifying your thoughts:

  • WHY did you choose the topic?  What interests you about it?  Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?
  • WHO is your research about?  Adults? Women? Children? LGBT? Who is affected by the topic?  Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
  • WHAT are the major questions for this topic? What are the major aspects of the topic? Political? Ethical? Psychological? Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
  • WHERE is your topic important: at the local, national or international level?  Are there particular areas that the topic is pertinent to this topic? 
  • WHEN did your topic become important?  Is it a current event or an historical issue?  Do you want to discuss your topic in the history context?

Is my topic too broad or too narrow?

  • If you get too many hits in the library catalog or in the research databases, then your topic may be too broad.
  • If you get very few or no hits in the library catalog or the research databases, then your topic may be too narrow.