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PERSUASIVE SPEECH ASSIGNMENT
5 – 8 minutes
Purpose: to persuade your audience. You may select any topic. Keep in mind that you
will be selecting a topic about which your audience holds varying beliefs. Your general
objective is to persuade the audience to change their beliefs or attitudes, (convince your
audience that something is good / bad, right / wrong — or better than something else) to
start doing something, to stop doing something, to keep doing something, or to not start
Persuasive Tone: This speech must be persuasive (i.e You must take a stance on
your topic, and try to influence the audience to take a stance.) The topic should be
relevant to the audience and well adapted. It should not be too simple or too complex.
A good way to decide your persuasive purpose is to ask the question, “When I
am finished with my speech, what do I want the audience to think, believe, or
The answer to that question will help guide the development of your speech!
You will most likely want to consider questions of fact, value or policy in planning your
Question of Fact: Questions which can be proven true or false through objective
Question of Value: Question of the importance, significance, morality, justice, right /
wrong of an issue.
Question of Policy: Question of how something should be handled in the future.
In addition, most successful persuasion always involves addressing counter
arguments and refuting them in the course of the speech.
Use critical thinking skills! The speech should be free of the fallacies of reasoning.
Visual Aids are not required but if you think they would enhance the speech, you are
welcome to use them.
Be sure to incorporate:
Logos – Logical Reasoning
Pathos – Emotional Appeal
Ethos – Credibility & Goodwill
Written Requirements: You will need to submit both a typed formal outline and a typed
speaking outline for this speech. The formal outline and the speaking outline will be
submitted on the same document. Once you have written your formal outline, scroll
down on your document and use the same information to create a key word / phrase
speaking outline. (Helpful hint: Copy and paste your formal outline and start condensing
it down to the key words and phrases needed to guide you in delivering your speech.)
Research Requirements: Research is vital. This speech requires you to make explicit
reference to at least four outside sources in your speech.
There are no date requirements for the sources for this speech. No date (n.d.) sources
You must identify each source when you deliver your presentation (orally), within the
outline (in-text citations) of the presentation and on a single-page APA-style
bibliography. You can put the author and year in parentheses when citing within the
The speech MUST:
1. Be persuasive in tone. (i.e. You need to take a position on the topic, and the
position must be clear to the audience.)
2. Have an Introduction and Conclusion. (Sets tone and reinforces purpose)
3. Have THREE to FIVE MAIN Points. (Three to five main things you will tell the
audience to accomplish your purpose.)
4. Incorporate Logos, Pathos, and Ethos (i.e. You need to have a solid logical
argument, incorporate emotional appeal, and show credibility and goodwill
toward the audience.)
5. Make explicit reference to at least FOUR outside sources IN your speech.
(These are in addition to your own knowledge and experience on the subject.
These sources may be publications, electronic media, or interview sources, etc.
They must be explicitly stated in the speech within the body of the speech.)
6. Be delivered extemporaneously. (i.e. Planned, but with flexibility in the
delivery. Not read, memorized, or off the top of your head.
The formal outline MUST:
1. Be a typed formal outline. (Formal outline format, parts of speech labeled, written
in full sentences, includes purpose statement, etc. – Please see checklist for
2. Cite at least FOUR outside sources (There are no date requirements for sources
for this speech. Sources should be cited APA style within the text of the outline and on
the reference page bibliography.)
3. Cite ALL information obtained from outside sources. (If you obtain information
from an outside source – cite the source. If you directly quote something – designate
that with quotation marks.)
4. Be submitted on Blackboard by the due date.
The key word / phrase speaking outline MUST:
1. Be relatively brief. (They should only include the information you need to present
your speech. They should not merely be a copy of your typed formal outline. They
should not be a full speech manuscript written word for word.).