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Informative Presentation 1 Assignment

Informative Presentation 1 Assignment

Prepare a four- to five-minute speech about the topic you have been assigned, keeping in mind the four general purposes of informative presentations: to describe, to

instruct, to explain, or to report.  The preparation (sentence) outline is worth 100 points and must be turned in through Blackboard by the deadline for you to receive

credit for any part of the presentation.  The presentation is worth 150 points.  Your self evaluation (see the back of this sheet for the questions) is worth 50



1.    The speech must be four to five minutes in length.  Be sure to sufficiently narrow your topic so you can cover your main points in the time limit.  For each 10

seconds you are under 4 minutes, you will lose 1 point off your score.  You will not be allowed to speak for more than 5 minutes.

2.    You should use a variety of supporting materials (e.g., definitions, examples, statistics, studies, testimony, comparison, contrast, anecdotes, etc.) in your

speech.  You cannot use a visual aid or technology (e.g., PowerPoint) for this speech.

3.    You must research your topic, finding information from books and articles accessed via the library’s databases.  You may have no more than one website as a

source (articles from databases are not from websites), and that website must be demonstrably credible. Refer to the “Guidelines for the Use of Sources” handout and

the library’s tutorials for more information.

4.    You need to orally cite at least three credible sources in your speech.  You must have a minimum of five citations from those sources.  Not citing sources will

result in a grade no higher than 70%; not having all of the required three sources and five citations will affect your grade to a lesser extent.  As the speaker, you

are not a source.  You may use personal anecdotes and experiences, but those are not citations from academic sources.

5.    You must speak extemporaneously, rather than write out your speech and read it.  You should prepare a speaking outline, which will differ from the outline you

hand in, on note cards before the day you present.  If I see you preparing note cards in the classroom on presentation day, I will deduct 20 points from your speech

grade.  You may have a maximum of five note cards with you at the lectern.

6.    By the deadline stated on the syllabus, you must upload a typed self-evaluation of your presentation (minimum one page) to Blackboard.  See the next page for

the questions you can use as a guide (do not use the questions from the self introduction assignment sheet).  Be sure to spell check and proofread your paper.  Format

it using Microsoft Word and the “Paper Format Guidelines” in the syllabus.

Guidelines for the Use of Sources

The quality of the information you find during your research, your ability to integrate the information into your presentation, and the correctness of the citations

you provide (both orally in your presentations and in writing on your outline) comprise a large part of your grade for each presentation.  You will not earn a passing

grade for a presentation if you disregard the requirements for and restrictions on sources.

To clarify, a source is any place you get information from.  Examples of sources include books, magazine articles, journal articles, experts you have interviewed,

pamphlets, television shows, and web sites.  A database is not a source; it’s a tool for finding sources.

A citation is the sentence that appears on your outline and that you say in your speech that references the information you acquired from the source.  The citation

should name the source, including, as appropriate, the author’s name, the name of the article, the name of the publication, and the date of publication.
Source: New York Times
Citation: According to Beth Frerking’s April 2007 article “For Achievers, A New Destination” in the New York Times, “Big as it is, with four full

campuses in two counties, Valencia prides itself on individual attention, especially for new arrivals.”

•    Your best option for finding credible, reliable sources is to use the online databases to which you have access because you are a Valencia student.  Valencia

pays for access to these databases because they allow you to access information electronically—which means quickly and accurately.  Information from databases is not

to be confused with information from the World Wide Web.  Databases house electronic versions of newspaper, magazine, and journal articles that have appeared in print.

In general, these articles have been written by professional writers, have been copy-edited and peer-reviewed for accuracy, and have bibliographies.
•    General encyclopedias and dictionaries are not considered sources in this class.  They can, however, provide basic background information that you can use as a

starting point for further research.  Although you will find titles such as Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia and World Book Online available in the library’s

database listing, you cannot include these in the required number of sources or citations for a speech.  You may use one specialized encyclopedia (such as Gale

Encyclopedia of Cancer) as a source; consult me with questions about what encyclopedias qualify as “specialized.”
•    Web sites are sometimes not reliable or credible.  Anonymous discussion board postings, blog entries, and sites created by an individual represent the opinions

of those writers and not necessarily researched, reliable data.  Sites like or, which depend heavily on contributions from anonymous

writers, are not credible for academic purposes and should be avoided for even basic information.  Sites for organizations and associations (e.g., the American Red

Cross or the National Society of Nurses) are usually credible, but one must consider the purpose of the organization’s web site and take the information with a grain

of salt.  You may have a maximum of ONE credible web page (that is, one page from a web site that may have multiple pages) as a source per speech.  Use the suggestions

in Chapter 4 of The DK Guide to Public Speaking and make sure you evaluate a web site with the checklist on page 69 before you decide to incorporate material from the

World Wide Web into your speech.
•    Your friends, acquaintances, and family members are not to be used as sources.  In specific instances, a friend or family member who has an expert’s level of

experience with a subject or issue can be used as a source, but the audience will consider your apparent lack of effort to find another expert’s testimony a weakness.

You can talk about your own experience with a topic, but that information doesn’t count as citing a source.
•    When you are required to have several citations from several sources, it’s best to have a variety of sources.  Do not rely on a single journal or newspaper,

and certainly not on multiple articles by the same author.  You can, however, use the same database for finding your sources; again, the database is the tool, not the


How to Access the Research Databases

1.    Using your preferred Internet browser, log in to Atlas.
2.    On the “Courses” tab, find the channel named “Libraries” and click on the “Search the Library” link.
3.    Click on “Databases A-Z” or “Databases by Subject” at the top of the page.
4.    Choose a database or subject area to search.
5.    Once you have accessed the search page of a database, begin your research by using keywords.  Spell the keywords correctly, or you’ll get invalid results.  Be

sure to select the “Full Text” limiter in whatever database you choose so your searches return only those articles that can be viewed entirely online.

Useful Databases to Get Started

?    Academic Search Complete
?    Communication & Mass Media Complete
?    America’s News (NewsBank)
?    InfoTrac Student Edition
?    Issues and Controversies (particularly for persuasive presentations and debates)
?    Opposing Viewpoints in Context (particularly for persuasive presentations and debates)



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