Skip to Main Content
COMM 301 (Jeppeson)

COMM 301 (Jeppeson)


Approaching your Assignment

Welcome to the LibGuide for Marsha Jeppeson's  COMM 301 classes.  This guide will help you with library research on your informative (ethnic)  and persuasive (policy) assignments. It will present information on searching books, databases and web sites that will help you define your topic and support your information and arguments.

Use the boxed guide to the left to navigate the resources.

Your assignments

Your first assignment is an informative speech.

General Purpose: To inform; to impart knowledge and understanding

Topic: Within the following limit, the topic is your choice. Your topic must be in some way related to your ethnic heritage. If you have a diversity of ethnic backgrounds, you may choose whichever one you please. For example, you may want to give a speech about a particular holiday, tradition, type of dress, marriage practice, or any other issue salient to your heritage.

If you do not have any clear connect to your heritage, you may give a speech on a topic that relates to your family or to someone else’s heritage. For example, you may have come from a family where diabetes is a significant problem. Or perhaps, you come from a long line of endurance athletes. Whatever topic you choose, you must be able to do academic research on the topic to support your speech. Make your speech interesting to yourself and your audience. Have fun with this assignment; help us know something about you that is important to you.

References: At least three (3) sources are required; a minimum of two of the sources should be scholarly sources. One of your sources may be a personal interview with a relative or friend. Include complete bibliographic information at the end of your outline, in the appropriate format (MLA Style from the Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook for Writers of Research Papers).

Speech #5 Persuasive (Policy) Speech Assignment:

You will present an 8 to 9 minute speech designed to persuade the audience for or against a question of policy. You should seek some kind of action from your audience. You may speak on any general issue in which you are informed and interested, and which is appropriate for, relevant to, and interesting to this audience (your classmates). Be sure to ask for some type of action.

Sources of information: At least four sources are required and must be referred to in your speech. Include complete bibliographic information on your outline for all sources used (at least 4). 

Visual Aids are required for this presentation.

Things to consider when choosing a topic

  • 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 assignment carefully to make sure that you are on the right track.
  • 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.