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Speech 101 (CMST-101): Informative Speech

The Informative Speech

Using language with clarity is an art. It involves choosing and using words that relate best to the speaker's intended purpose and meaning for a specific audience. Words have connotative and denotative meaning. If these meanings express different ideas, audience members will attach whichever meaning they usually associate with the word. When the speaker and the listener agree on the meaning, the communication is effective. This assignment gives you a chance to develop your language and organization and reduce the "fuzziness" sometimes attached to messages so your audience will receive your intended meaning and feelings. Good organization of your ideas will make it easier fo ryour audience to understand your speech and will aid you, the speaker, as well. 

Topics in Your Major

You may want to pick a topic related to your major. If you are unfamiliar with concerns and issues in your field of study, you can look to professional organizations for information.  Professional organizations usually host Web sites and may also publish press releases, trade journals, or scholarly publications.

To identify professional organizations:

  • Ask your advisor for recommendations.
  • Consult Briggs Library research guides in the subject area. They often list professional organizations.
  • Do a Web search.
  • Ask a librarian.

Topic Development

Topic Development is a crucial first step in your research. Briggs Library has many resources and tools that can help. Use the link below to explore ways to generate topic ideas as well as broaden and narrow a topic. 

Creating Keywords

The next step once you have your topic is to create strong keywords. These will help you search for your topic in library databases. Use the links below to find resources to help you create helpful search strategies. 

Finding Statistics

Finding Magazine and Scholarly Articles

Source Types

It is important to understand the characteristics of different source types. This will help you understand when and why to use certain sources when you're doing research. Use the links below to learn more. 

Finding Books

Print Books

The library has over 750,000 books in the shelves on the 3rd floor, all of them available for check-out. The best way to search for them is by using Quick Search, the search box on the library homepage. Watch the video below for more information on how to that. 


The library has collections of eBooks that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection; log in with the same credentials you use to access article databases. In most cases, you can view the book right in your browser but some collections require you to create a free account with them in order to borrow and download texts. If you have trouble, ask a librarian for help. 

Finding Newspapers

Evaluating Sources

Applying a set of standards to information sources will help you judge their credibility and relevancy. The evaluation process will depend on the purpose for which you are using the information. Good research involves using multiple sources of information. In addition to applying the CRAAP criteria, compare the information you find with that in other sources.

  • Currency

    Is the information up-to-date enough for my topic?

  • Relevance

    Does the information pertain to my topic and cover it in enough depth to meet my needs?

  •  Authority

    Who is responsible for the content and what are their qualifications?

  • Accuracy

    Is the information reliable and free from error?

  • Purpose

    Is the information presented without bias or is the bias acceptable for my purpose?


Click the link below for more resources about evaluating sources.

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