I have had no fewer than three students arrive at my office door in the last week to ask me a question about their persuasive presentation project. How, they ask, are they supposed to learn about a local cause, but still meet the assignment requirements?
The challenge here, of course, is that one of the cornerstone requirements of our persuasive project is that learners must utilize our campus databases to obtain quality reference material to enhance evidence and proof within their assertions. Let me make this as easy as I’m able.
Start with your topic. If you pick a topic that doesn’t have a local tie, that doesn’t mean your research is 100% lost. It means that you must reevaluate the way you approach the topic. For example, let’s say you want to speak about a local AIDS/HIV awareness organization. While you will likely not find national publications discussing the office down the street, you can look at some broader information, including:
- HIV/AIDS research
- Infection rates in the US in recent years
- Data on Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Grant-funded organizations (or grant funding)
- Nonprofit organizations devoted to awareness
In addition, students are expected to have additional sources to enhance their presentation. For example, you may want to conduct an interview with the head of the local charity, bringing them information you have found about national statistics, then compare those to the locally-available statistics.
Does this take extra work? Yes! But if you have a passion for your topic, the extra work makes the information worth it! Keep developing your ideas and looking beyond the instant gratification of ease. Your brain will thank you for knowing more about a broader range of topics, so that you can be informed about an issue. Further, you can know more about the topic, not only to answer questions during your presentation, but also when you need to assist the charitable cause directly through volunteer and fundraising efforts.