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This library research guide supports program areas that are a part of Butler University's College of Communication.
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Public Speaking Print Page

Determine Soure Authority

When using sources to support your speech points, it matters that you know the perspective of those sources.  While no source is is truly "objective," your authority will be enhanced if you are aware of the particular message that your sources are trying to convey. 

To help with anaylzing source perspectives, use SourceWatch, "a directory of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda."  Or,, an educational resource "designed to help students learn to cut through the fog of misinformation and deception that surrounds the many messages they’re bombarded with every day."


Check out this source, Tips for Evaluating Sources to help you evaluate what you are finding.  Here are the key things to think about:

Authorship ♦Sponsorship ♦Purpose & Audience ♦Currency


Databases to find Resources for Speeches

When conducting research for a speech, the following databases will lead you to both popular and scholarly information on topics.

Additional Web Sites for Speech Content

These web sites state that they committed to providing objective, non-partisan content on topics. 

    A project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, this organization is a "nonpartisan, nonprofit "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics."
  • RealClearPolitics
    An independent political web site, RCP brings together commentary, news, polling data, and links to important resources from all political viewpoints and covers the important issues of the day.
  • Public Agenda
    A non-partisan, non-profit organization that researches public opinion on public policy issues.
  • Politics1
    Politics1 is published as a non-partisan public service to promote fully informed decision-making by the American electorate.
  • IDEA (International Debate Education Association) Debatabase
    A database of over 400 debate topics. Provides an overview of the issue, pros and cons, and additional resources to consult. This resource is designed to get you started on a topic, it is not comprehensive in the overviews.

Primo: Find some of Everything! (ebooks, print books, articles, etc.)

Statistics & Public Opinion Polls

Images, Audio, and Video for Speeches


Bibliography Help COM 102

Below is the handout that was covered in class.  Use this as your first defense in creating your bibliography.

Bibliography Help II COM 102

Below are additional sources to consult for your Public Speaking Bibliographies:

Published Style Guides:  Located at the Irwin Library Information Commons desk and in the Stacks

  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers  REF DESK LB2369 .G53 2009
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association  REF DESK BF76.7 .P83 2010

Web Sites:


Speech Call Number Ranges

The call number range for books about speeches, speechmakers, or containing speeches themselves is:

PN6121-6129 - 4th floor, Butler Irwin Library

Historical Speeches (Websites)

Historical Speeches (Library Databases, Journals, Books, Video/DVD collections)

Information Commons & e-Learning Librarian

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Amanda Starkel

Speech Writing & Delivery Tips

  • Hallway Blogs: Public Speaking Guide
    The power of sharing information online lives! This site was recommended by a student at Valley Charter School in Northern California who is using this guide for their research. The site provides tips on speech writing and delivery.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

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