CO 100 is a required course focusing on oral communication. Assignments often involve choosing a topic, collecting information about it, and then delivering or writing an informative, argumentative, or persuasive presentation. This page is designed to provide assistance in these areas.
Try to select a topic that interests you for the simple reason that if you are not interested it is difficult to get someone else interested--and we are focusing on effective presentation here. It can be something in the news (an economic stimulus method, humanitarian relief in war zones, the effectiveness of the new Browns coach, etc.) or something of interest to your age group (the elements of a core curriculum, the legal drinking age, unisex bathrooms in dormitories, etc.) Once you have chosen a topic, focus it to a manageable segment. There is no need to solve all the world's problems, just to shine your light on one thing in particular. Have a couple of ideas in mind, then see how much information each has to help you decide.
HINT: The Reference librarians can help you determine if there is enough, or too much, information on a topic. If there is not enough information, choose again. If there is too much, narrow it.
When making an informative, argumentative, or persuasive presentation credible sources are key. Look for authorities on the topic, such as scholars, industry leaders or journalists who have written on it. Using a mixture of popular and scholarly resources can help give balance. Use sources that are appropriate for your topic. A Reference librarian can help you with this.
Here are a few good, basic sources that beat the internet for turning in effective informative, argumentative, or persuasive papers or speeches.
Academic Search Compete is a good, easy-to-use general database that allows limiting by type of publication (magazines or scholarly sources). It has breadth and some depth on most subjects, making it a great first stop for almost any project.
Academic Search Complete
Provides full text for more than 3,430 scholarly publications covering academic areas of study including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies. Features PDF content going back as far as 1887, but the bulk of the sources are from the 1970s going forward. This database is updated on a daily basis.
Best Supplementary Source
Business Source Complete provides an different viewpoint on many topics (film and television, for example) because it indexes industry publications. It works and looks like Academic Source Complete.
Business Source Complete (1886 - Current)
Index, abstracts, and full text covering scholarly, professional, and trade business journals on management, economics, finance, accounting, international business and much more.
Best Example (and good topics too)
CQ Researcher has one report each week on a timely topic. They are well organized. These are around 30 pages in length, each containing an overview, background, the current situation, outlook and next steps on the issue. Other very useful features are their Pro/Con sections, chronologies, and bibliographies that lead to more information. Browse by topic or by date or use the Pro/Con index by topic. You can use these as an example for organizing your material.
Full text of Congressional Quarterly's reports on current and controversial issues.
Best News Source
Lexis/Nexis Academic is a gold mine for information on current events, among other things. It has full text of major U.S. and world newspapers, transcripts of news programs, and news blogs. This is a very rich and complex database, so is not the easiest database to use. Ask a Reference librarian to show you some of the techniques for getting what you need. This is well worth your time to learn as it has so much in it.
Full text access to a wide range of news, business, legal, and reference information. Includes Hoover's Company Data.
Best Sources for Countries and Cultures
Global Road Warrior has detailed country information about climate, society and culture, business culture, money and banking, security, health, transportation, and communication. It also provides maps from the World Trade Press for each country, showing political, physical, population, and climate features.
Global Road Warrior
Detailed country information, including climate, society and culture, business culture, money and banking, security, health, transportation, and communication. Also includes maps from the World Trade Press for each country, showing political, physical, population, and climate features.
CIAO (Columbia Affairs International Online) contains political and economic country information and maps from the Economist Intelligence Unit. Click on Atlas, then area, then country name.
CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online) (1991 - Current)
A full-text online database for political science, international affairs, foreign policy, area studies, international relations, war and peace studies and diplomatic history containing working papers, journals, books, policy briefs, case studies, and course packs. Also includes an atlas from the Economist Intelligence Unit, featuring maps and country data, including political and economic reports.
Talk with a Reference librarian about your project. There is a world of important information that is not free on the internet. We can help you find it.
Whether your project is informative, argumentative, or persuasive, it is important that you know all sides of the issue. For example, if you are trying to persuade the university to use solar energy, be sure you know the factors that might negatively affect your position (the immediate budgetary implications, for example). Knowing your material thoroughly makes your position unassailable. Back up your main points with good, reliable information. Quoting an authority adds weight to your presentation.
Visit Grasselli Library for information.
Visit the Writing Center for help with organization.