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8th Grade Persuasive Speech : Home

Resources and tips for 8th Grade persuasive speech research.

Think About It...

Using Google (for academic research) is like drinking unfiltered water.

 You can do it,

but do you really want to?


Library resources are “pre-filtered”


Scholarly articles are reviewed by experts in the field. Books are handpicked by Librarians and go through an editing process by the publisher. Even newspapers & magazines go through an editing process.


Google is completely “unfiltered”. Anyone can write anything and publish it online.


The following are Library Resources that may require a username and password if you are accessing from off campus.

Username: polyuser

Password: orange1907

You can also access these databases through MyPoly by selecting "Library Resources" from the Resources panel. 

Evaluating Sources

Use SIFT to evaluate your sources to determine if they are reliable and credible for your assignment. SIFT stands for: 







Ask yourself:

Is this a source you already know?

Is this a source you’re 100% positive this is accurate and trustworthy?

Don’t read or share until you know what it is

If you know 100% that this is a trusted source then you’re good to go, but if not, if you’re unsure about any of these questions, then you’ll want to move through the rest of sift to determine if it’s reliable. 



INVESTIGATE the source

This step ask yourself 2 simple questions -- WHO is responsible for the information and WHAT is their reputation?

You want to know what you’re reading before you actually read it, after all anyone can create a website. So you want to find out who created the site? Who is the author? Is it a company, school, government agency or individual? What are their qualifications or expertise? Are they someone who is an expert or professional? Knowing where and what they studied, where they work, and how long they’ve done research on a topic can help you evaluate whether they actually know what they’re talking about. 

What is their purpose or motivation? Purpose is the reason why something exists, such as to inform, convince, promote a particular viewpoint, entertain, or sell products. Is the purpose to provide information, something you want to read for pleasure, repost, or just get a basic understanding of something.Think about what they’re trying to say or do, or what they’re trying to get you to say or do. 


FIND trusted coverage

Sometimes it’s not the source that you’re interested in but rather information that’s on their site you need to investigate. Is it true or false? To find out, you should scan several sources to see what the experts are saying. You want to corroborate the information.

What do I mean by corroborate?

Can you find this information from a different source? A more trusted source?

Something you can do is when you find some information that you want to see if it’s true or if it can be backed up somewhere else is copy that information or that quote or fact, whatever it is, and paste it into Google. Does that information come up somewhere else?


TRACE it back to the original source

Follow links, citations, googling, or reverse image search. By tracing it, you can decide if the information is accurate. Be very skeptical of secondary sources that don't cite or link to their original sources.

Google Like a Pro

The internet is inconceivably large. In fact, it’s essentially endless! Sometimes it’s easy to find the information you need, but often trying to find something specific can be overwhelming and feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

These advanced searching skills can also help you work your way back to the original source of specific claims, quotes, photos and videos — a critical step in fact-checking things you’re unsure about online.

This infographic features hyperlinked example searches that demonstrate exactly how your results will look when you apply these eight tips:

  1. Use quotation marks to search for webpages containing that exact phrase.
  2. Limit your results to news from standards-based sources.
  3. Use basic Boolean operators like “AND” and “OR” to combine search terms.
  4. Use parentheses to group operators and do even more sophisticated searches.
  5. Narrow the time frame of your results to a specific date range.
  6. Search for results from one specific website.
  7. Search for even more specific results from a subdomain or subdirectory of a website.
  8. Use – (the minus sign) to exclude specific terms from results.

Remember: Effective searching is as much about eliminating the results you don’t need as it is finding the ones you do. Applying these eight tips can help you clear away the clutter of results you don’t need — which makes homing in on the results you do need much easier.

Implementing these small tweaks to your online searches can make a big difference. Keep this infographic handy — on your phone or at your desk — and you’ll be Googling like a pro in no time.

Tips for Writing a Persuasive Speech

* Provided by: National Speech & Debate Association 


There are four key components to an introduction: the attention getting device (AGD), common ground, thesis, and preview. For the sake of this speech, you’ll want to keep your introduction around 30 seconds (give or take). 

Attention Getting Device

Start your speech off with a quotation, a short narrative, a mind blowing statistic—anything to wow your audience and grab their attention. Make sure your AGD is topical, though. You don’t want to start off your speech praising Ryan Gosling’s good looks when the subject is clean city water.

Common Ground

In order to be persuasive, you need to establish common ground with your audience. They need to feel directly connected to the problem. Think about what you have in common with your audience—their values, interests, shared experiences—which can relate back to your topic.


The thesis is simply your solution statement. Use it as a call to action for the audience. Example: “We need to find affordable and sustainable ways to produce clean water.”


This is the easiest piece of the introduction to write because, at its core, it’s the same for every speech. Give the audience a roadmap, or signposts, of the next three big points you’ll be discussing. In a persuasive speech, your signposts are typically the problems, causes, and solutions. Example: “Let’s first learn more about this pressing problem, next identify the causes of unclean water, and finally establish some solutions.” 


You are now going to write the body of the speech, which consists of problems, causes, and solutions. The body is the meat and potatoes of your speech. For the purpose of this speech, the body should be about two minutes long. You should spend about 1 minute per point. 


This is where you’ll describe the problem you chose to discuss. First, restate the problem. Next, you’ll need to give evidence supporting your claim. Use articles, journals, and statistics to assert your problem exists, is significant, and has harms associated with it. You could have a source for each of those areas (existence, significance, and harms) and make sure you articulate these ideas in a logical format.


Give a transition statement explaining to the audience you are now changing subjects. Example: “Now that we understand the problem, let’s take a look at the causes.”


Start off with a statement of the causes (there are usually more than one) of the problems. Don’t forget to use evidence! End this section with a statement as to why the status quo (how things are now) won’t solve the problem. Transition Give a transition statement explaining to the audience you are now changing subjects. Example: “Now that we understand the causes, let’s take a look at the solutions.”


State your solution. (This should be a restatement of the thesis). Then explain in detail how your solution will work. Ask yourself, how will my solution be implemented? How will it be executed? 


The conclusion is about 30 seconds long. Wrap up the speech by summarizing the problem and solution. Next, restate your thesis. Last, give a final statement. This is the last thing your audience will hear—so make sure it’s good! And that’s it! You’re done. You’ve written a persuasive speech! Pretty simple, right? 

Key Points

Anatomy of a 5-minute speech:

Opening: 30 seconds - 1 minute

Body: (3 points/evidence) 1 minute each

Closing: 30 seconds - 1 minute


Tips for Good Practice

  • Use an attention getter in the opening of your speech. It can be a quote or a surprising statistic but keep it relevant to your topic.
  • Complete your thought with evidence; do not go back and forth between points.
  • Finish with a memorable thought that sums up your position on the topic.


Last Minute Thoughts

  • What question are you trying to answer? Try putting your topic in the form of a question to help you focus your topic and know what evidence you need to search for.
  •  You need evidence and facts to back up your side, not just your opinion.
  •  Don’t just look for evidence on your point of view, but also address the other side of the argument to help make your point stronger.


Remember! You are trying to convince the audience!

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