The assignment: compose and present an original piece of oratory about a topic of your choosing, which will persuade your peers to adopt your point of view (this means you need to have one). Speech topics in the past have ranged from arguments for lowering the drinking age to swearing; changing the METCO program to anti-consumerism. Basically, the more interested you are in your topic, the better your speech will be. If you're not interested in anything, now's your chance to find a passion. Remember that the speech must try to persuade the audience of something, so think about what you believe everyone needs to know! Ask yourself the following:
The ultimate questions that the judges answer are: "Did this student make me care about the issue s/he chose to discuss?" and "Was I moved by this speech?" Chances are, if you don't care about your topic, no matter how polished it is, your audience won't either. Also, topics you care about can be entertaining or funny. Please don't assume that this must be a baring of your deepest emotional scars.
Length: 6 minutes. If you're under or over by a minute, that's okay. You'll start losing points for anything under 5 minutes, or over 7. This means about 3 1/2 pages, typed, double spaced, depending on how quickly you speak (which will feel slower than usual).
Format: There is a specific format (see outline from your teacher) but this is the basic format:
Text Types and Purposes
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Reading: Informational Text
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research
2. Apply grades 9–10 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning”).