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A Short Guide to Research
- First, review your assignment thoroughly and choose a topic.
- Next, start gathering information right away - don't procrastinate!
- Begin by navigating to the Miramar College home page.
- Find background information in print books, eBooks and Reference databases.
- As you read about your topic, increase your searching power by jotting down keywords and their synonyms, names of people, places and events.
- Add more specific or up-to-date information by searching the library databases. (Log on with your your Miramar ID and last name to research when off campus.)
- Email a librarian or stop by for after-hours help with research, citations, library policies, and more.
Group Informative Speech
This is a 7-10 minute group speech—that is each of you will speak for 1-3 minutes, one at a time, as part of a cohesive speech. Working with your Speech Group, you will inform the class about anything you have a shared interest in (or can get interested in!). Topics should be both specific and appropriate to the college classroom–the more specific and unique, the better. The informative speech is comprised of two separate parts: 1) the creation of a formal, working outline; and 2) the delivery of a speech based on that outline.
The goals for this speech are to:
- help you develop your researching, organizing, and outlining skills
- help you realize and engage in all of the planning that goes into a prepared speech
- help you develop a thorough and well-organized outline
- give you practice creating and using a slideshow to complement your speech
- help you prepare and deliver an effective and engaging speech for your intended audience
In the past, I required my students to focus on a need or problem in your community that they would like to solve. My goal was to show them that they could have an impact in making their communities better and to help them build up their resumes by working with groups in the community. I highly recommend this approach for an informative speech topic, although it is not required.
- A specific topic would be “the history of Aikido,” or “my apartment complex creates too much trash.” If you want to focus on a community problem and already have a solution to a problem in mind, such as “my apartment complex should be composting,” then you’ll need to go backwards to identify the problem that this speaks to. You might discuss the topic above, “we’re running out of landfill space,” or “humans create a lot of waste.”
- If you want to focus on a community problem and are having difficulty picking one, you can volunteer with any of the many non-profit community organizations working within San Diego County. Such organizations exist apart from the college and focus on addressing any one of a number of challenges in our community, from helping former foster youth to restoring wetlands.
- As far as appropriateness goes, an inappropriate topic would be “the benefits of binge drinking.” If you want to inform people that there are benefits to drinking to excess (satire is acceptable although difficult to do in a group), find a way to present your topic in a way that doesn’t encourage unethical, unhealthy, or illegal behavior.
- Stumped for a topic? Go to www.wikipedia.org and click on the “All Portals” link to see all of the different subtopics they cover on the site. This should help you find many potential topics.
In writing your outline together, please follow the speech and outline rubrics closely to ensure that they are complete. Note that your group will need to make reference to a minimum of four sources, one per group member. Most, but not all, of your sources must be from published sources, and all of them must be credible—even if it’s a friend of yours. Interviews with an affected population or leaders in a field are encouraged. Your outline should be formatted as described in class and the textbook (using proper subordination). See below for more information on that.
Your group must work together to:
- Decide on a topic
- Complete any necessary research (4 references are required—each member of the group will be responsible for locating one resource)
- Write a cohesive detailed outline (i.e. using complete sentences)
- Create a cohesive slideshow (with four slides per person)
- Deliver a speech together
Here are some tips to help you succeed:
A. Specify deadlines when work needs to be done (such as sections of the outline, the slideshow, etc.) and follow them.
B. Have the slideshow completed before the day you present so that everyone will have a chance to practice with it. Do not make last minute changes unless you share these with the whole group!
Your group should divide the work evenly. Here are some suggestions for doing so:
C. Everyone should:
a) Identify a credible source to use and type out the citation in APA, MLA, or other format—adding their name in parenthesis at the end of the reference, i.e. (Pablo)
b) Research and develop their component of the speech
c) Type up their portion of the outline (in subordinated format)
d) Create four slides they will use during their part of the speech
D. Individual Speech jobs (for groups with four members)
a) Intro + conclusion
b) Main idea I
c) Main idea II
d) Main idea III
E. Individual jobs (perhaps for those completing Individual Speech jobs a and c):
a) Slideshow compiler (maybe send group members a template to work with early on)
b) Outline compiler (this person should also upload the outline to Bb when it’s due)
NOTE: Your group will be evaluated as a whole in your detailed outline and slideshow. Group members will earn individual grades on speech delivery and content as well as the slideshow print out (more on those below).
Group Informative Speech Outline
Collectively, each group will create a formal, working outline using the format taught in the textbook and discussed in class. In it, you will need to address all of the requirements outlined above as well as the following:
- The outline should be 5-8 pages
- The outline should include an introduction section, body section (with at least three main ideas), and a conclusion section
- The outline should use only complete sentences
- The outline should include properly cited references (in-text citations) throughout
- The outline should include a references section with at least 4 credible sources (this will not count toward your page count)
The day that your group delivers their group speech, one group member will need to submit a detailed outline to Blackboard.
Group Informative Speech Slideshow/Presentation
For this speech, I would like you to experiment with using a slideshow with presentation notes as your mnemonic aid (you can also use note cards or an outline if you wish). You are required to print out your slideshow and each speaker will need to create and include speaker’s notes for each slide—I will be collecting these. Slideshows will only be graded on their number (each speaker must use a minimum of four slides) and the presence of speaker’s notes. Please do not allow one person to create the slideshow—work together so that you all have a hand in it and understand how to do it for future speeches.
Your slideshow will be graded on the following:
- Each speaker must use a minimum of four slides.
- Your print-out must include speaker’s notes for each slide. These can either be typed within the program you use (be mindful that some programs use a lot of paper when you do this), written in by hand, in the form of index cards that you tape next to each slide, etc.
a. 10 points for slides with notes connected to each slide, 8 points for slides with separate notes, 6 points for slides only, 4 points for notes only.
- You should provide limited information for each slide
- Your notes should be legible from several feet away
a. You will lose points if your notes do not meet these criteria
Note: Group members must submit individual slides & notes rather than as a group packet.
- You can use any slideshow software that you wish, so long as you can present it on the college’s computers (most programs will export a “pdf” format if you choose). The computers on campus have PowerPoint, but you can also use Keynote, Adobe PDF, Prezi–http://prezi.com/, Google Slides–http://www.google.com/slides/about/
- To help you stay on track, include slide numbers on each slide (have your software do this automatically).
- When printing your slides and presenter’s notes, print 3-4 slides per page. However, PowerPoint will only allow you to print one slide per page when printing typed notes, so you might opt to handwrite your notes.
Group Informative Speech: Individual Rubric
= This needs improvement; __________________ = Good work
A. Organization: __________ (5 points)
- Your part of the speech flows smoothly from the previous speaker and on to the following speaker
- The point you are speaking to and/or the point you wish to make is clear
- The points you address are logically organized
B. Content: __________ (10 points)
- You provide at least one spoken reference to a credible source (providing author and date)
- You support your point with well developed details
- Your details are specific and engaging
- Your details show a sensitivity to your audience
- You inform rather than persuade the audience
- If delivering the intro and/or conclusion, you satisfy the requirements of those
C. Delivery: __________ (10 points)
- You demonstrate proficiency with: Eye Contact, Vocal Variety, Vocal Projection and Volume, Energy Level/Presence, Speaking Rate, Limited Verbal Clutter, Limited Verbal Fillers and Dysfluencies, Pronunciation, Articulation, Strategic Use of Language, Posture, Gestures and Movement, Avoiding Fidgeting, Appropriate Grammar, Use of Note Cards, Word Choice
X. Deductions: __________ (5 points)
- Speech duration: group 7-10 minutes–the group will share deductions, -1 point for every 5 seconds below 6:50 or above 10:10, -5 maximum (members should speak for 1-3 minutes each)
- If A/V clips are longer than 25% of the speech, each speaker will receive -1 for every 5 seconds over
Group Informative Speech: Group Rubric
A. The overall effectiveness of your speech: __________ (15 points)
- How well you inform the audience on your topic
- The completeness of your coverage of the most important elements of the topic
- The organization of topics
- Your overall speech informs, rather than persuades the audience
B. How well you balance your use of time: __________ (5 points)
C. How well you use the technology and how smoothly you work as a group: __________ (5 points)