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Communication: Speeches

Speech Texts

Index to American Women Speakers, 1828-1978
Main Library Reference PS 400 .M35
Indexes by author, subject, and title the speeches of women appearing in more than 200 publications, including collected works. This work was updated with We Shall Be Heard: And Index to Speeches by American Women, 1978 to 1985 (Main Library Reference PS 408 .M37 1988).
Representative American Speeches (1957/58-1992/93)
Main Library General Collection PS 668 .B3
A compilation for a given year of the "most notable" speeches from politics, business, and academe.
Speech Index: An Index to 259 Collections of World Famous Orations and Speeches for Various Occasions
Main Library General Collection AI 3 .S85 1966
Speech Index: An Index to 259 Collections of World Famous Orations and Speeches for Various Occasions. Fourth Edition Supplement, 1966-1980.
Main Library General Collection AI 3 .S85 1966-1980
A dictionary catalog with entries for each speech under author, subject, and type of speech.
Vital Speeches of the Day
Main Library Microfilm PN 6121 .V52 (1934-39; 1968-96; 1997/98-2000/01)
Main Library General Collection PN 6121.V52 (1939-68; 2001/02-2007)
Full texts of speeches on a wide range of political and policy topics.

Speech Topic Idea Sites

The following Internet sites can be helpful for choosing speech topics.
A collection of Internet sites which provide background on numerous social and public policy issues.
Explains and details the manufacturing process of a wide variety of products, from daily household items to complicated electronic equipment and heavy machinery. The site provides step by step descriptions of the assembly and the manufacturing process (complemented with illustrations and diagrams.
A commercial site with advertising, categories include auto, communication, computer, electronics, entertainment, food and recipes, health, home and garden, money, people, science, and travel.
Helpful advice on selecting a topic and topic suggestions from the University of Hawaii — Maui Community College Speech Department.
This site at the Borough of Manhattan Community College Library lists some topic ideas and links to topic sites.
The purpose of this site at the University of Wisconsin—Madison is to "is to explore the science, math and technology behind the news of the day, and to present those topics in a clear, accessible and accurate manner." Established in 1996 with funding from the National Science Foundation, the site produces a major story each week on a scientific topic.

Additional Speech Topic Tips

In addition to the sources listed in the boxes to the left, the CQ Researcher database is excellent for finding speech topics and information especially on current and controversial issues. A single-themed 12,000-word report is published weekly, providing an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources. Coverage includes specific topics on health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy.