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Comm 380 Public Speaking : Choose a Topic

Arm Chair Research

Before starting library research (or searching Google) it is very important that you take sufficient time to identify the kind of  issues that  interest you and/or that you feel passionate about.  This is also true when you are choosing a research topic.  If you are not sure what the current issues are that people are concerned about, you may browse the sources listed on the right.  These sources normally list current (some are historical) public interest issues. Some are research resources for journalists and some are collections of public speeches delivered in recent months (and years going all the way back into the 1930s).  Browse these sources and see what triggers your interest.


CQ Researcher   Focuses on a specific topic that is perceived as being either newsworthy or an issue of broad interest in the public policy sphere. Recent examples are on  "Curbing CEO Pay" and "Re-examining the Constitution".

Journalist's Resource (via Harvard Shorenstein Center)



Sage eReference Encyclopedias The "Debate Series" is especially helpful for structuring a persuasive speech on topics ranging from education reform to religion-state separation

Other Multi-Disciplinary Encyclopedias, plus see the quick overview on Searching the Gale Collection)

Rutgers Electronic Reference Sources  Includes reference materials on quotations, speeches, etc.

Newseum / Today's Front Pages

Newspaper Research Guide. For information on Rutgers campus newspapers click here

Open CRS (U. S. Congressional Research Service Reports for the People)

Pew Internet Pew Internet & American Life Project

Vital Speeches of the Day.  New York, The City News Pub. Co.  1934 to present.