Speech Chapter 3 Rewrite The Following Incorrect Specific Purpose Statements That They Are Correct Give

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
Invitation to Public Speaking - National Geographic Edition 6th Edition
Cindy L. Griffin
Chapter Three:
Developing Your Speech Topic and Purpose
Chapter Goals
Chapter 3 teaches students how to select topics, narrow their speaking purposes, and write clear thesis
statements. As students reach the end of this chapter they should have an understanding of the following
To identify how context influences speaking goals
Chapter Outline
I. How context influences your speaking goals (pg. 39).
We speak publicly in several contexts.
a. Deciding to speak is the most common reason because we find an issue so important or
our experience so relevant that we decide to speak about it (pg. 39).
i. Most common reason to speak is finding an important and relevant issue. In
addition, this is the most powerful reason to become a public speaker.
ii. Throughout history, people spoke in churches and town halls, at street corners, in
town squares or centers, and on soapboxes.
environment, population growth, and education.
x. When people decide to speak, they generally speak about issues central to their
lives and well-being.
xi. To decide to speak publicly is to decide you can offer an audience important
knowledge or a valuable perspective.
b. Being asked to speak is the most flattering context for a public speaker. We are asked to
c. Being required to speak can be a regular part of our lives (pg. 41).
i. You may be required to take a public speaking class.
a presentation at a meeting.
vi. In a public speaking class, you will be asked to fulfill specific requirements for
each given speech assignment.
II. Choosing your speech topic (pg. 41).
A speech topic is the subject of the speech (pg. 41).
With a little systematic thought and inventive organization, speakers often come up with a
a. The classroom setting (pg. 43).
Assigned speeches usually have several constraints because they are given in a classroom
i. Preselected purpose.
ii. Time limits.
b. Choosing your topic and staying audience centered (pg. 43).
Make a list of your interests and give a speech about one of them.
i. Matching your interests to a speaking assignment (pg. 44).
1. Determine and categorize your interests.
3. Turn interest into an interesting and informative speech.
ii. Matching your expertise to a speech assignment (pg. 45).
2. Examples of expertise, skills, or talent.
4. Possibilities derived from events or environment.
5. Research topic to discover interesting aspects previously unaware.
c. Brainstorming is the process of generating ideas randomly and uncritically, without
attention to logic, connections, or relevance (pg. 45).
Tips for successful brainstorming:
Let your thoughts go where they will.
Write your ideas down quickly.
Keep your list handy over the course of several days and add to it as new thoughts
come to you.
i. Brainstorming by free association can occur when sitting at a desk with a
ii. Brainstorming by clustering is a visual brainstorm where you write an idea in
the center of the paper, and draw four to five lines extending from it (pg. 47).
iii. Brainstorming by categories involves listing several categories and then listing
d. Narrowing your topic (pg. 48-49).
i. When we speak, we respond to an issue we are interested in or concerned about,
and share our views and concerns with an audience.
1. What exactly is the topic of my speech?
2. Can I discuss the topic in the time allowed?
3. Who is my audience, and what is my relationship to my audience?
III. Articulating your purpose (pg. 49).
a. The general speaking purpose of a speech is its broad goal, to inform, to invite, to
persuade, to introduce, to commemorate, and to accept (pg. 50).
b. The Specific speaking purpose is a focused statement that identifies exactly what a
IV. Stating your thesis (pg. 53).
a. Thesis statement A statement that summarizes in a single declarative sentence the main
ideas, assumptions, or arguments speakers want to express in their speech (pg. 53).
i. Table 3.2, pgs. 53-54. General and specific purposes and thesis statements.
ii. A thesis statement is sometimes called a central idea.
iii. A thesis statement adds focus to the specific purpose because a speaker states, in
a single sentence, the exact content of the speech.
iv. In the thesis statement, a speaker identifies the main ideas of the speech, which
become the main points.
v. The thesis statement and main points guide speakers in several ways.
2. They guide the reasoning in the speech.
3. They guide the organizational pattern of a speech.
vi. Some instructors like to divide the thesis statement into two sentences:
End of Chapter Activities and Discussion Questions
The following questions can also be found at the end of Chapter 3.
Review Questions and Activities
1. Use the strategies suggested in this chapter to make a list of four different speech topics you might like
to speak about. How do you think the classroom setting would affect what you would say about these
topics? What would you do to make these topics suitable for a classroom setting?
2. Rewrite the following incorrect specific purpose statements so that they are correct:
To give 10 percent of your annual income to charity
Barack Obama
Olympic gold medals
Natural disasters
Isn’t the level of water pollution in our local river too high?
Students are often challenged by wording specific purpose statements correctly. Use this as a small
group activity to give students the opportunity to practice writing specific purpose statements. Place
3. Make a list of speech topics you might decide to speak about. For each topic, identify why you’ve
decided to speak and who your audience would be. How might your reasons for speaking and your
audience affect what you say about your topics? Is this a speech you might give in your speech
course? Why or why not?
4. Practice writing a general and a specific statement of purpose for a speech on each of the following
topics: teen violence, mandatory military service, terrorism, bilingual education. Now write a thesis
statement for each of these possible speeches and identify the main points for each. Could you choose
one of these possible speeches for your next speech? Why or why not?
This can be a very effective small group activity. Place students into small groups. If they do not have
their books with them, place these topics on a handout, on the smartboard, chalkboard, or an overhead,
Web Activities
Choose a general category and click on it. Continue clicking on links until you find one that is relatively
specific. Did this method help you find a speech topic that you had not
known about before you started clicking on links? Try this exercise again, this time starting with a
different general category. Would some topics you found work better for different types of speeches?
Read several editorials or letters to the editor. For at least three that you read, identify its specific
statement purpose and thesis statement. How effective is each statement in identifying the main points
of the writer’s argument? Is the thesis statement more specific than the specific statement of purpose?
Interactive Student and Professional Speech Videos in MindTap
1. Video Clip 1: Rebecca Ewing “The Case for Graduated Licensing”
As you watch this video clip, listen to the effectiveness of her thesis statement.
2. Video Clip 2: Jesse Rosser “Preventing School Violence”
As you watch this clip of a speech introduction, listen carefully to how Jesse develops his thesis
statement. Is it effective? Why or why not? How will this example help you to develop your own thesis
statements, especially for a persuasive speech?
3. Video Clip 3: Ogenna Agbim “This Is Dedicated: A Tribute to Women in History”
As you watch this video clip of a speech delivered by Ogenna Agbim, consider how her passion for her
topic helps to facilitate her delivery in a commemorative speech.
Additional Exercises and Resources
1. Matching Interests to a Speaking Assignment
Students will often approach instructors for topic ideas. They often are challenged by topic selection,
2. Matching Expertise to a Speaking Assignment
Students will often feel that they are not really experts in any area. Give them some examples that may
help in showing them they can be experts in certain areas. For instance, if students work retail they may
3. A Checklist: When You Are Asked or Decide to Speak
At the end of this chapter, you will find a handout to use for this activity. As students prepare their
4. What Is the Specific Purpose Statement?
5. Handout: Selecting a Topic and Identifying the General Purpose, Specific Purpose, and Thesis
It can be challenging for students to select and then narrow their speech topics, and then to identify
their general and specific purposes as well as their thesis statements. Use the handout provided in this
chapter to help students in this process. Have students fill this out and turn in this information when
Matching Your Interests to a Speaking Assignment
Use this chart to help you match your interests to a speaking assignment.
I like to I like to talk about I would like to learn
more about
Possible topics
Possible topics
Possible topics
Matching Your Expertise to a Speaking Assignment
Use this chart to help you match your expertise to a speaking assignment
I have these special
I have witnessed the
following events
I have received the
following training
Possible topics
Possible topics
A Checklist:
When You Are Asked or Decide to Speak
This handout is a basic checklist to assist you in fine-tuning your focus in a speech when you are asked or
decide to speak. Make sure that you can answer each of the questions clearly.
1. About the Topic
If you have decided to speak, do you know what specific topic about which you may want to talk?
2. About the Time Constraints
Can you discuss the topic in the time allowed, or do you need to narrow or broaden your scope?
Is there some aspect of the topic that you may be better able to cover in the time allowed?
3. About the Audience
Who is your audience?
What is your relationship to them?
Specific Purposes
Listed below are some general speech topics. Practice writing specific purpose and thesis statements for
these topics using the tips provided in your textbook. Note that before you write the specific purpose
statement, you will also need to decide on a general purpose.
1. Topic: Housing
2. Topic: Travel
3. Topic: Careers
4. Topic: Financial Aid
General Purpose:
Specific Purpose:
Thesis Statement:
Topic Choices
Name __________________________
Refer to Chapter 3 of your text to help you write the following statements.
Topic Choice #1
Main Points:
Topic Choice #2
General Purpose:
Supplemental Bibliography
Brake, Mike. “9 Steps to Effective Speech-Writing.Writer’s Digest, 79 (Jul 1999): 40-43.
Chapters 2 and 3 cover the preparation stages of speech writing and offer historical examples.
Overall, this book is interesting and helpful for almost any aspect of speech preparation.
Lamm, Kathryn. 10,000 Ideas for Term Papers, Projects, Reports and Speeches. New York: Macmillan,
When students are convinced they cannot find a topic for their speech, this book can help. It offers
over 400 pages of topic suggestions on a wide variety of subjects from sculpture to psychology to
Students often say that they cannot think of anything they are interested in enough to write a speech
about. This book offers suggestions for ways to help students brainstorm and think about new and
creative things in which they have an interest.

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