1. What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change overtime? Why?
My inquiry question for this year was “what techniques make a good persuasive speech?” I was drawn to this question because as mentioned in my introductory blog post, I’ve always had an interest in speeches and I like arguing with others, so I figured I’d combine these two interests in the form of my inquiry question. My question stayed the same because my research didn’t change my main question, although it did change my understanding of the topic. My question could have changed if I had gone down the broader topic of being persuasive in general, but I felt that if I had changed to being persuasive I would have strayed too far from the English aspect of this inquiry. However, a lot of what I learned during my inquiry could be applied more or less the same way in general persuasiveness.
2. What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?
During the inquiry process, I have expanded on a number of skills. firstly, I expanded on my speech writing ability. Almost all of the speeches I have written in the past have been more informative rather than persuasive, so I learned about a new type of speech writing that I can use when doing public speaking in the future. I have also improved my research skills. Rather than exclusively use sources specifically focused on persuasive speeches, I have explored other areas that I can apply to speeches, opening me up to a broader amount of information than I have found in the past. Finally, I have improved on my organizational skills. By keeping all of my notes and drafts, etc. in one place, I have made it much easier to find the information I need when I need it.
3. What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.
There are many answers to this question, as there are many components that make a persuasive speech successful, so I will go over the most important. Delivery is a huge part of making a success speech persuasive. If a person goes up and has a boring introduction and drones on during the speech, the audience will lose interest very quickly. The same is true if a speaker goes up and seems to lack confidence or knowledge of their topic. It is important to appear confident and be engaging with the audience. this can be achieved by gesticulating, speaking clearly and confidently, and using humour to maintain interest. The composition of the speech is also very important. The issue needs to be a topic that can be argued. It is extremely difficult to write a persuasive speech on a topic such as “why sharks are animals,” as this is already commonly accepted as a fact. The topic also needs to be well researched. One cannot just go up and say that their speech is about “why you should wash your hands” and then not have any evidence to back this statement up. Finally, one of the most important parts of making a persuasive speech is knowing what the opinion of the audience is, so that one can relate to them better and be more personal in their persuasion.
4. In what ways does your final learning artifact demonstrate your learning / answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this.
My final learning artifact is a persuasive speech. This demonstrates my learning since my research is intended to be applied to a speech. Although the speech topic itself is not related to my question, the type of speech as well as the techniques I use will demonstrate my learning. My curricular competencies are express an opinion and support it with credible evidence, transform ideas and information to create original texts, and assess and refine texts to improve their clarity, effectiveness, and impact according to purpose, audience,and message. My artifact connects to the first competency because it is, quite literally, an opinion supported by credible evidence. It connects to the second competency because in order to write my speech I needed to take ideas that I learned from being persuasive in general and apply them to speech writing. I also had to take information I had gathered about my speech topic and use it in order to write the speech. My artifact connects to the third competency because I had to edit my speech and cut it down, change word choice etc. to make it clear and concise and to fit better with the audience that I was trying to persuade, my classmates.
5. What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 50-100 word response as to why it was important to your learning).
This source was really useful as not only did it give tips on how to write a persuasive speech, it also was very useful in the structuring of my speech. Overall a thorough and extremely useful source.
This source was useful as the tips were useful in writing the speech, but also helped me understand how to deliver it. Citing examples from very successful speeches also helped me understand the concepts better, which allowed me to apply them much easier.
Although not every principle mentioned was applicable to my inquiry, most were and not only helped me in learning about the delivery of a persuasive speech, but also in how to write one, as some principles could be modified to work in the writing process.
This source was useful because it had more information to do with the audience, and since other sources didn’t mention as much about the audience, this was a major help in writing my speech when I was thinking about the audience.
6. What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?
Although I don’t have any questions about my inquiry itself, the process has spawned some related questions that I hope to answer in the future, such as how are the techniques in persuasive speech writing and essay writing similar and different and why? What excites me about this question is that by looking into this topic, I could improve my speech and essay writing, and I could explore an area similar to the topic that I originally chose to pursue for Zip. I also have another question, how is a persuasive speech different from other kinds of speeches? I am excited about this question because by trying to answer it, I could learn more about other speeches, expanding on the knowledge I have which could help prepare me for future public speaking.