PERSUASIVE SPEECH OUTLINE ASSIGNMENT
TOPIC: bioethics (cloning & stem cell research)
- Choose an appropriate topic.
This assignment requires you to research a global, national, regional, state or local problem that apparently exists because humans in general or a specific group of humans are neglecting their duty to promote the things God values in this world.
The problem may be political, economic, educational, environmental, medical, religious,
or cultural. It may be a false belief or set of beliefs (about God, nature, or other people)
that needs correction, a wrongful attitude or type of attitude (toward God, nature, or other
people) that needs adjustment, a neglectful or wrong way of acting (toward God, nature,
or other people) that needs to change, or a state of needfulness or brokenness that exists
as it does because of human indifference or inactivity.
The problem must be a social one that deters many individuals—not just a few isolated
lives—from experiencing life according to God’s Word as he intended when he created
the world the people in it.
The following sites may be helpful for discovering or exploring these and other qualified topics:
Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity The Heritage Foundation
Family Research Council The Rutherford Institute
The American Enterprise Institute The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life
The Discovery Institute Speech Goals: Because this is a persuasive speech—a speech in which you try to persuade the audience to believe or value something or to act in a specific way—and because you are to use this particular speech to advocate a redemptive (i.e., God-honoring) solution to a social problem, your goal in this presentation is to use information from appropriately credited expert sources in 2 ways:
(1) To identify the social problem and to establish, with information from credible sources,
that it exists somewhere in the world, and
(2) To prescribe a redemptive remedy for the problem—a remedy that, if implemented by
someone or a group of people, would promote something that God, according to
Scripture, values and that, if implemented, could help somebody experience life as God,
according to His Word, meant it to be experienced.
Examples: In such a speech, you might use information from documented expert sources to
establish that abortions claimed 630 lives in your home county last year. You would then use Scripture to argue that God values human life, including preborn human life. Finally, you could argue that the county must take 3 specific steps, described by you, to eliminate or diminish the frequency of abortion in the county. Alternatively, you might also use
information from documented expert sources to establish that the federal government
authorizes the use of a certain chemical in the treatment of drinking water and that credible
research from sources A, B, and C indicates this chemical actually causes cancer. You could
use Scripture to establish that God wants humans to protect the bodies he created. You would then argue that the federal government must take steps to protect people by banning the chemical from use in the treatment of drinking water.
As you promote something God values (e.g., life, quality of life, creation care, etc.) through
this speech, be sure you do not condone or promote something God’s Word discourages or
prohibits (e.g., fornication, adultery, homosexuality). After all, a solution is redemptive only
if it promotes something that God values according to Scripture. If you are uncertain whether your proposed solution to a social problem satisfies this standard, discuss this in advance of the project’s deadline with your instructor.
Other Topic Selection Criteria: Your topic must satisfy not only the preceding criteria, but also the topic selection criteria set forth in the course reading materials and the Liberty University Online Honor Code. In addition, your topic must comply with the following:
Choose a Topic You Can Address Ethically: Avoid any topic that leads you to portray
legally or ethically questionable texts or behaviors in a favorable light. This includes but
is not limited to theses that advance sexually promiscuous activity, the use of illegal
substances, or other behaviors that Liberty University’s statement of values prohibits.
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Questions about the appropriateness of topics, sources, etc. should be directed to your
instructor early in the speech-planning process.
Choose a Topic You Can Address Originally: Your speech topics must be
researched, selected, and delivered primarily for this course and not primarily for, or in
conjunction with, a presentation for a church group, a Sunday School class, a social
group, or any other small group. You may not give a speech that serves a double purpose.
Choose a Topic You Can Address as Required by the Instructions: You must choose a
topic that enables you to construct the speech in a way that satisfies the specific
requirements of the corresponding Grading Rubric, which lists the criteria that your
instructor will use when grading your presentation.
Form a thesis statement and research the topic.
Please note the following:
Process Overview: To do this, you should do the following:
(1) Form a preliminary thesis—a single-sentence statement that succinctly proposes a
specific solution to the asserted social problem. Because this functions as your working
thesis, you should assume for now that this will be the main point of the speech.
(2) Research credible sources for thesis-related information about your topic.
(3) Finalize your thesis, modifying it if necessary to match what your research disclosed.
(4) Express this finalized thesis as a complete thought in a single-sentence thesis statement.
(5) Choose the information from your research that most powerfully delivers the type of
information that this thesis statement requires.
(6) Present this information in a logically sequenced outline of properly documented main
points, sub-points, and perhaps even sub-sub-points, using the Persuasive Speech Outline
Template document as your formatting guide.
(7) Your outline in its final form will serve as the blueprint that you mentally must follow
while extemporaneously delivering the speech to your audience.
Source-Related Requirements: For your persuasive speech, you are required to use 4 expert
sources. You must use and clearly cite examples, illustrations, statistics, quotations from experts,
etc. from at least 4 expert sources in this project. An expert source is a person, group of persons,
or organization with documentable expertise in the area it addresses. Information from such
sources typically derives from personal interviews with credentialed experts or from
documentable print and/or electronic publications.
The Bible as an Expert Source: While you may of course use the Bible as a source when
related to your topic, it must be in addition to the 4 required sources.
Non-Expert Sources: Never use information from anonymous or questionable sources
such as Wikipedia or any printed source authored by someone whose credentials for
addressing the topic are not clearly established.
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Liberty University Database Source Options: It behooves you to consult the Jerry Falwell
Library for access to many potentially useful, credible databases.
- Organize your information in the form of a conventional speech outline.
After you have finished your topic-related research and found what you believe to be enough
credible information to support your original thesis statement or a modified version of the
thesis, begin the process of organizing it in the form of a speech outline.
Be sure to satisfy the following guidelines:
Create a Draft Outline and then a Final Outline: The speech outline process involves
2 submissions. If you post the optional draft outline, your instructor will provide
constructive feedback to it that can help you create a stronger final outline. Submit each
outline via its designated submission link during the module: week when it is due.
Use the Provided Outline Template to Build Your Outline: Download the MS-Word
formatted Persuasive Speech Outline Template document. Retain its format, but be sure
to overwrite its non-boldfaced content with content of your own that is appropriate for
that element in a speech that aims to support your thesis about your topic.
Use Problem-Solution or Problem-Cause-Solution Pattern to Order Your Content:
For the persuasive speech outline and speech, you must use the Problem-Solution or the
Problem-Cause-Solution organizational pattern for addressing your topic. See your
course materials for more about this pattern.
Include All Essential Outline Sections: These include the following:
The introduction must be listed in this order: your attention-getter, credibility
statement, thesis statement, and preview statement.
The body must include 2–5 main points, each with supportive subpoints, and perhaps
even sub-subpoints. These will consist mainly of documented examples, illustrations,
statistics, quotations from experts, etc. that you have derived from the 4 or more
expert sources that this project requires.
The conclusion must include a summary statement, a call to action, and a concluding
element that refocuses the audience’s attention on the thesis.
The Works Cited (MLA), Reference page (APA), or Bibliography (Turabian) must
properly credit your sources and must do so in the format prescribed by the respective
Document Your Sources Properly: Do so both in the outline itself and on an end-of-
document source citation page.
Use In-Text and End-Page Citations: Whether you directly quote, summarize, or
paraphrase information from another source, always explicitly acknowledge the
source from which you derived the information.
Always Offset Direct Quotes with Quotation Marks! Place directly quoted words
inside double-quotation marks to make it clear that you are not claiming to be the
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originator of the quotation’s wording. Failure to use double-quotation marks to offset
directly quoted material constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism a serious academic offense
that can result in automatic failure of the assignment or automatic failure of the
course (see the Liberty University Honor Code for more information about this).
Avoid Plagiarism! Always explicitly attribute information to the source from which
you derived it. This requires you to use parenthetical citations or footnotes in the
outline itself to show which information derives from which expert source. This also
requires you to list the same sources on a Works Cited (MLA), Reference (APA), or
Bibliography page (Turabian) in the format prescribed by the style manual that you
choose for this project.
Use Direct Quotes Sparingly: If you include directly quoted material from another
source in your outline, it must account for no more than 20-percent of the outline’s