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SPE 108 Research: Supporting Ideas


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SPE 108 Research: Supporting Ideas

  1. 1. Supporting your ideas SPE 108
  2. 2. Research methods• Librarians: do not be shy about asking for help• The catalogue: listing of all library resources, availability• Periodical databases : locate magazine and journal articles• Reference works: encyclopedias, yearbooks/almanacs, quotation books, biographical aids
  3. 3. Internet research• Search engines: Google, Yahoo• Virtual libraries: Librarians Internet Index (, Internet Public Library (• Government resources:, Statistical Abstract (, World Factbook ( factbook/)• Multicultural resources: Yahoo!Regional (, see listing pg. 127 of the text.
  4. 4. Evaluating Internet documents• Authorship: you should never use an article you cannot verify the authorship of. Is the author qualified? Is the author an expert? How might you find this out??• Sponsorship: most websites are published by groups, not individual authors. As a result, you must judge whether the sponsoring organization is impartial enough to cite in your speech. Credibility.• Recency: how old is the article? You can looks for a copyright date, publication date, or date of last revision on a website to find out when it was last updated.
  5. 5. Using examples• Examples help clarify your statements, give listeners specific details to latch on to, vivid examples have an impact on listeners.• Brief examples: specific instances, used to illustrate a point• Extended examples: narratives, anecdotes. Usually detailed and dramatic, they draw listeners into the speech.
  6. 6. Using examples• Hypothetical examples : describes an imaginary situation. Can be very effective. Speaker creates a realistic scenario, relates it directly to the audience, and gets them involved in the speech. Best to follow up hypothetical scenarios with factual evidence.• Examples can reinforce and personalize the ideas you are presenting. Make examples detailed and vivid, and practice your delivery to maximize impact
  7. 7. Statistics• Often cited to clarify or strengthen a speakers points.• Can show the magnitude or seriousness of an issue.• Statistics can be easily manipulated and distorted.• Make sure you are using good research. Are the stats representative? Are they from a reliable source? How did the source come up with their data?
  8. 8. Tips for using statistics• Use stats to quantify your ideas (give numerical precision)• Use stats sparingly. Overusing numerical data wont resonate with listeners. Use stats to make your point.• Always identify then source of your stats. No source = no credibility• Explain what the stats mean. Dont expect the audience to draw their own conclusions.• Charts can visually clarify statistical trends and comparisons
  9. 9. Testimony• Quotes or paraphrases to support a point• Expert testimony: when the source is a credible, recognized expert in their chosen field• Peer testimony: testimony from ordinary people with firsthand experience, or insight on a topic
  10. 10. Testimony• Quoting: testimony presented word for word• Paraphrase: summarizing a sources remarks• Be sure to quote or paraphrase accurately, only use testimony from qualified, unbiased sources, and always identify the people you quote/paraphrase.
  11. 11. Citing sources orally• Careful listeners are skeptical, they will want to know the source of your information• No standard format/wording• They key is to tell your audience enough information so they think your research is credible. Examples: page 160.