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UMKC University Libraries

Speech Writing

Books

Find a Topic

Where to Find Ideas

  • Class discussions or readings
  • Articles in discipline related journals and trade publications
  • Relevant current events
     

Stuff in the News

  • Use current event articles to jumpstart topic ideas
  • Scan the headlines
     

Library Databases

Gather Background Information

Why Should I Start with Background Information?

  • Gain familiarity with the topic
  • Identify more specific aspects of the topic on which to focus
  • Provide context and identify differing perspectives
  • Identify experts related to the topic

These databases include hundreds of online reference books including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other resources in all subject areas.

Narrow a Topic

Narrowing a topic requires you to be more specific about your research interest and can help you to develop a thesis.

Questions to Narrow Your Topic

  • Who? Who is the specific person/group to which you would like to limit your research?
  • What? What specific aspect of the broad topic idea is interesting to you?
  • Where? To which specific geographic area or region would you like to limit your research?
  • When? On what time period would you like your research focused?
  • Why? Why do you think this is an important/interesting topic?

What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis is typically a one sentence statement in the first paragraph, or beginning, of your project that states your purpose. Thesis statements should be arguable, specific, detailed, and meaningful.

Worksheet to Help

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