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4: Selecting Your Approach and Main Points

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    Learning Objectives

    After reading this chapter, the student will be able to:

    • Distinguish between the specific purpose, central idea, and main points of a speech;
    • Differentiate between a speech to inform, persuade, and inspire or entertain;
    • Write a specific purpose statement;
    • Write a thesis or central idea statement;
    • Distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable specific purpose and central idea statements;
    • Compose appropriate specific purpose and central idea statements for informative, persuasive, and inspirational/entertaining speeches.

    You should be aware that all aspects of your speech are constantly going to change as you move toward actually giving your speech. The exact wording of your central idea may change and you can experiment with different versions for effectiveness. However, your specific purpose statement should not change unless there is a really good reason, and in some cases, your instructor will either discourage that, forbid it, or expect to be notified. There are many aspects to consider in the seemingly simple task of writing a specific purpose statement and its companion the central idea statement. Writing good ones at the beginning will save you some trouble later in the speech preparation process.

    4: Selecting Your Approach and Main Points is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Kris Barton & Barbara G. Tucker.

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