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Hostile Topics assignment requirements & guidelines


Select a topic from the list of hostile topics and seriously defend the topic as stated. You can propose a topic that I must first approve.

Requirements specific to this assignment

Total points  100 points
Speech length 8 minutes maximum
Speech delivery Extemporaneous

You can present this speech in class (on March 3 or March 10) or submit a recording of the speech (by March 10).

Outline Yes (use outline template)

The outline is submitted online before you give your speech.

Works cited page Yes (separate page attached to outline)
Citation style MLA
Sources Minimum 5 different sources
Evidence/supporting material Minimum 3 different types of evidence
Visual aids Allowed to show images (such as photos, charts, tables, maps, etc.) Any type allowed
What you must submit to me when you present your speech A copy of your outline, works cited page, and visual aids (when practicable)


Further explanation about the assignment: 

Persuasion is the process of creating, reinforcing, or changing others’ attitudes (their judgments), beliefs (their knowledge), and behavior/actions. While we use various methods of proof to try to persuade others, we rely on strong evidence and sound reasoning that resonate with our audience to develop effective persuasive speeches. Accordingly, you must do more than state your opinions and assertions. You will need to support those opinions and assertions with valid evidence. Don’t forget that that you need to state the sources of any evidence as part of your speech because the audience does not have your outline or works cited page. You also want to anticipate and respond to major counter-arguments against your position. Your credibility is also enhanced when the audience is aware that you use reliable, well-qualified sources and you fairly address and rebut counter-arguments.

Any persuasive speech should be well organized, but particularly so for this speech because your presentation time is limited. Review the various organizational patterns for persuasive speeches to ensure you select the most appropriate for your topic.

Finally, this assignment requires you to be more strategic in selecting and ordering your arguments and evidence in this speech because many in your audience are likely to be hostile to your proposition.

Purpose of this assignment: This assignment helps you continue to develop your critical thinking skills because you are taking a position that contradicts the perspectives of many in your audience. More importantly, this speech gives you an opportunity to practice persuasive speaking, which is essential in our professional, personal, and civic lives.



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