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COMM 1511 - S. McDaniel: Home

A library guide for public speaking
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Terri Smith
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The information on the following tabs of this guide will help you identify keywords for your topic, find and evaluate different types of sources, and cite your sources.

For additional help using library resources, explore the library's Library Research Skills guide

For writing help, see the Taft College Learning Center for information about getting help from a writing tutor.

Your Assignment


Write, present, and record an 8-10 minute speech on one of the following topics. Create a PowerPoint/Google Slide presentation to accompany your speech. Your speech should reference a minimum of five sources directly supporting your thesis. You may use books, print or electronic, and academic journal articles as a source as long as it is academic in nature (provides critical analysis of the primary source). Include all sources on the Works Cited page at the end of your written document in MLA 9th ed. format.


Gun Rights

With all of the gun violence in America, school shootings, drive-by shootings, gang violence, etc.m do we, as a nation, need to revisit the Second Amendment? Does each individual American still have the right to bear arms? Write and present a speech taking one side of the argument.

Cancel Culture

This is taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary: "cancel culture refers to the mass withdrawal of support from public figures or celebrities who have done things that aren't socially accepted today." Should we, as a society, be involved in cancel culture? In other words, should we be "canceling" someone that says or does things that we do not regard as socially acceptable? Should we cancel people that disagree with issues that society deems as social norms? Write and present a speech taking one side of the argument regarding cancel culture. Approaches to this topic can vary widely. A few suggested keywords are censorship, freedom of speech, and bullying.


Prostitution is often called the world's "oldest profession." Is prostitution truly a profession? Should prostitution be legal? If so, what should be the parameters of that legalization? Write and present a speech taking one side of the argument. While prostitution is understood at the basic definition, also consider human trafficking.

Capital Punishment

Several years ago, a man associated with a drug cartel was prosecuted in San Antonio, Texas for heinously dismembering a 6 year old girl with an axe while her parents were made to watch. Should a crime like this deserve capital punishment? Is it possible for a person to forfeit his/her right to life? Take one side of the argument, arguing for or against capital punishment, and the scope of human rights and values.