CMST 220 Public Speaking (Denton)

This guide will help you find evidence for an informative speech or a persuasive speech on a selected social issue for Kelsey Denton's CMST &220.

What are keywords?

Keywords are any important words or phrases that you might use to search for more information on your topic.

Keywords can be single words, proper nouns, or short phrases ("time management"), but they should not be sentences or sentence fragments.

  • Think of the different words and phrases that people use when they discuss your topic. 

  • Consider broader and narrower words, and synonyms (words that have the same meaning). 
  • Identify keywords with a background search if you need to -find phrases that relate to your topic- or ask a librarian for help in finding words that connect to your topic.

Example Topic

"How to focus in an age of distraction?"

Mind Map:

mind map of example research question

Notice how the keywords below are individual words or short phrases (names of people, things, or events are OK!) We'll use these keywords to build our searches for more information on our "avoiding distractions" sample topic: 

  • Technology detox
  • time management techniques
    • Pomodomo technique
  • focus | distraction
    • multitasking (and effects / benefits / problems)
    • procrastination
    • Internet blocking programs
  • social media
    • Facebook
    • Twitter

EXAMPLE - Reading a reference article

Use reference articles to understand the general view of what is happening with an issue, who is involved, and why there is debate over it. 

You can use important words or ideas (see the highlighted words in the example below) as keywords to build more focused or related searches.

GVRL Global Warming reference article

Google Web Search

Online reference sources

Use the following online reference databases to find background information on a wide variety of topics.