Assignment: Subject Exploration, Development, and Understanding

By selecting a suitable college-level subject or issue area for the remaining speeches, the student-speaker should be able to create a speech that informs the audience about the subject in a manner that leads into a persuasive speech. Each speech needs at least five references that are used. Sources used previously can be used, but should be in addition to five new, unique sources to each speech.  A key point to be reminded of is that the speech subject does NOT determine whether a speech is informative or persuasive, rather it is the treatment of the subject that will determine the general purpose of the speech.

For instance:

  • On the subject of organ donation, one can give an informative speech that conveys the details of the process, the shortage of available organs, related laws and potential options for resolving the problem (but will not advocate an option).
  • Persuasive Speech of Fact might address claims that may be true or false about attitudes and beliefs about organ donation.
  • Persuasive Speech of Value might discuss society’s values about a long, healthy life, helping others, and being responsible as reasons why organ donation is consistent with social and cultural values.
  • The Persuasive Speech of Policy could then advocate a policy that changes organ donation from an opt-in system to donate, to an opt-out system where if you do NOT want to donate your organs, you would have to sign up to be excluded from the harvesting of organs for donation.
  • It is worth noting that a Policy Speech is essentially a Fact Speech and Value Speech combined with a plan to resolve a problem. Proper research and planning will allow a speaker to simply combine elements of previous speeches and propose a specific solution.

This approach allows one to focus, research, and learn in a specific area without having to relearn a new subject area during the semester. Furthermore, you do not have to be consistent with your views during the term – you are allowed to change your mind. You are allowed to examine and discuss alternative viewpoints within the same subject area. For instance, you can clearly argue that “an opt-out organ donation plan” is morally outrageous and “should not” be adopted.