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Sophomore Speech 2014-15: Soph Speech


Welcome to the Research Guide for Sophomore Speech!v


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Sophomore Speech

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:

  1. What's a problem you care about in the world, in the U.S., in Newton, at NSHS?
  2. What's something that has been bothering you?

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:

Problem-Cause-Solution (PCS)

Problem: a description of the dilemma/issue that you have identified
EG: Collective hatred of finding direct objects
Cause: where this problem comes from
EG: The obsession with teaching grammar comes from......
Solution: what you propose should be done to solve this problem
EG: Plan for collective intentional failing of grammar quizzes
Timetable: See your class calendar for dates. You must come to J blocks and/or use the Writing Center if you need additional assistance throughout the process - it is important not to get behind.
See Sophomore Speech packet from your teacher for:
FAQs, Research Guide, Speech Outline Template, Scoring Guideline, Guidelines for Annotated Bibliography, Peer Evaluation Form, and Evaluation Form. 

Common Core Standards


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.

  1. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  2. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
  3. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
  4. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
  5. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

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”).


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soph speech word cloud

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