Using an Informative Research Question 10.6

Informative Research Questions

During class today we discussed the four types of research questions (see attached images) and how to select one. Overall the most important thing about a research question is this: pick ONE and do not adjust the wording too much or you will wind up with too broad a focus. For example, if you change “Why are we arguing about GMOs in our food?” to “What do we know about GMOs in our food?” Then you will be Wikipedia. You do not want to be Wikipedia.” You’ll notice that this is both a recommended practice AND required as part of the grading rubric on the assignment description.

Repeat after me, “I do not want to be Wikipedia.”

IMG_4904Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 2.19.26 PM

I found this handy PPT you might also want to check out as well:

Informative speaking from Kelly Soczka Steidinger

Doing Research

We came up with some interesting websites and research sources to push the speech to the next level (see forthcoming “research links” on eLC). I gave you some criteria for choosing sites, the types of sites you should use, what you should avoid, etc. But overall my biggest recommendation is this: each and every time you cite or use a piece of research it had better make your speech come to life with intrigue and depth. When you conduct research, look for interpretations, audience connection (who cares) and SUPPORTS not so much facts and “information.”

For tomorrow: 1-page freewrite on your topic. Similar to what we did in class on Tuesday but much better. Ideally this freewrite will be about possible perspectives and research questions you could approach and incorporate some of your research…maybe even a few SUPPORTS.



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I am a rhetorical scholar, public speaker, and teacher at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I study speech and contemporary U.S. political culture and teach courses in public speaking, interpersonal and visual communication, speech and media, and rhetorical theory and criticism. I have been featured on RabbitBox Storytelling and TEDx.

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