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COMM110 - Prof. Srinivasan: Home


For speech 2, your persuasive speech, you'll need to pick a topic from Opposing Viewpoints and cited at least six sources orally in your speech. This guide is intended to point you in the right direction for these sources.


Use these library databases to find current and reliable information from  journal & magazine articles, newspapers and reference books for your informative  and persuasive speech. 

The use and benefits of CRAAP

Searching is easy! 

Students can throw some words into a search box and hit the button. That's something everyone has done. It's finding the GOOD stuff that's tricky.

The first steps of evaluation (in Google, Library catalog, Wikipedia, databases):

  1. Scan the title for clues
  2. Click into the title for more details
  3. Read the whole thing! (You've determined it's worth your time)

The first clues are the same. Once you search you have:

  • The title: always the first clue. Is it on the right topic? Does it seem like it might be helpful? If so, add it to the shortlist to investigate further.
  • Once you have shortlisted a link, click into the title to find more clues (find a: summary/abstract, blurb, subjects).
  • If the information still looks promising: read it and use it!

Part 2: Selection

Okay, we have some search results.  Which of these is best for our particular paper?  Our full range of clues are:

1)   Keyword in title? – This is a good sign that the article is RELEVANT.

2)   Read the abstract!! – There is no better clue to whether we want to use this in our paper than this SUMMARY. It should tell you want was studied, how and possibly why. (concerns PURPOSE and RELEVANCE)

3)   Long enough? – A scholarly article should be longer than 1 or 2 pages; watch out for editorials or sidebars. (speaks to RELEVANCE)

4)   Reliable source? – Is the author affiliated with a university? Is the publication a scholarly journal or a magazine? (that’s AUTHORITY and ACCURACY)

5)   Don’t take that tone with me! – Is the tone of the article biased or unbiased? Is it intended to inform or persuade? (this is PURPOSE)

6)    When was it written/published? – Think about it like this: do you want your doctor treating you with information from an article published in the 1960s? Not if you want to live. So pay attention to WHEN the information comes from; knowledge changes over time. (CURRENCY)

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