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COMM 301 (Thornton-Sides)

COMM 301 (Thornton-Sides)



Welcome to the LibGuide for Allyson Thornton-Sides'  COMM 301 class.  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.

your assignment: the informative speech

This is your first research-based speech.

You will develop a five to seven-minute speech designed to share your research of an area of personal interest. You are the instructor and are going to teach us something about an event, a current controversy, a technological development, cultural custom, or a field of study, etc. You have the option to deliver these in groups of two-three, so that there is the possibility of a more in-depth discussion. However, you will be graded individually. One person’s speech will be graded entirely independently of the others. Each group member will have to speak for the five to seven minutes.


  • 5-7 minutes per speaker, 10 second buffer on each end
  • Develop and present 2-5 main points which cover the following information
  • Include an introduction covering the 5 objectives of intros
  • Include a conclusion covering the 3 objectives of the conclusions
  • Include clear transitions from section-to-section and between main points
  • Submit one formal, full-sentence outline (use the outline template found in the Files section of Canvas)
  • 12 pt. Font
  • Double spaced
  • Cover page
  • Running headers
  • A minimum of 3 sources should be cited in APA format in-text and in a reference page attached to your outline
  • Each speaker may use up to 6 3x5 note cards for this speech


  • Sources should be orally cited regularly throughout the presentation
  • At least 2 of your sources must be scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles
  • One source must be an interview from someone who works for the organization. The interview can be done in person, over the phone, or through email.
  • A multimedia visual aid (Prezi, Google Docs) is required.
  • A minimum of 1 chart/graph and 1 picture should be included
  • Please make sure to follow the guidelines for preparing and presenting professional multimedia presentations.


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.