St. Ignatius

Latin Oratory Project

The library faculty has created this page to help you write a powerful Ciceronian oratory.


  1. College athletes should earn a salary. 
  2. Teachers should be armed. 
  3. Colleges should require SAT and ACT scores to consider students for admission. 
  4. The creators of standardized tests should require students to indicate their ethnicity. 
  5. The voting age in the United States should be lowered. 
  6. Higher education costs are too high. 
  7. Public schools should require students to pass a sex education course. 
  8. Torture is an effective means of acquiring information and thus should be a legal form of interrogation. 
  9. School dress codes are unnecessary. 
  10. The school day should begin at a later time. 
  11. A college education is necessary for a successful life. 
  12. A true democracy requires the separation of church and state. 
  13. The use of cell phones is detrimental to one's health. 
  14. All Americans are entitled to health care.

Research Databases and Others

The databases are helpful places to go to get credible sources. On them, you can find research-based articles, editorials, statistics, and primary sources. If you are using SIRS or Opposing Viewpoints off campus, you will need to sign in here for passwords.

SIRS This site is the best place to start for this particular project. Half of the topics have their own subject pages. Even if your topic doesn't have its own subject page, you'll be able to find related opinions and statistics on this site.

Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center This is a another great site to go for logical arguments on both the pros and cons of your issues. Several of your topics have the own issue pages on the database.  

ProCon.Org This is a free resource available wherever you have internet access. It provides professionally researched information on multiple sides of controversial issues. Many of the topics listed above have their own issue pages on this site.

The New York Times All students and faculty have complete access to the New York Times as long as they are on campus. This will be a very valuable source while you're looking for up-to-date information about your topic.

Databases provide you with the footnotes in MLA format.  Look for a "cite" or "citation tools" button.


Figures of Speech

This project requires you to effectively employ at least two figures of speech in each section of your oratory. A good resource to review figures of speech is Silva Rhetoricae. You can find all the figures listed on the right side of the page; click on a figure for its definition and examples. We also recommend quick Google searches for tools you choose to use, so you can see how other people use the same tools. The more models you see, the better you'll be able to use the tools effectively yourselves.


Citing Sources

If you use our school's subscription databases (SIRS and Opposing Viewpoints), the Works Cited entries are generated for you. If you use information from other sources, you'll need to generate your own Works Cited entries. Carefully use EasyBib. Dig around for the information to fill all the slots in the entry. Remember, your Works Cited entries should correspond to the parenthetical and PATt sentence citations within your speech.


More on public speaking

6 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Speech (On Any Topic) This article provides excellent, practical tips from Adam Frankel, former Special Assistant and Senior Speechwriter to President Barack Obama.

Breathing is the Key to Persuasive Public Speaking This is a fascinating article on how breath affects one's ability to persuade, written by Allison Shapira. Shapira teaches "The Arts of Communication" at the Harvard Kennedy School and is the presdent of Global Public Speaking LLC.

TED's Secret to Great Public Speaking In this video, TED curator Chris Anderson shares a secret ingredient that all the best TED talks have in common, along with four ways to make it work for you. His focus is on expository speeches, but his points are potentially transferable to persuasive speeches.

We also have three books you might find helpful in our library: Lend Me Your Ears by William Safire, Words That Ring Through Time by Terry Golway, and Speeches in World History by Suzanne McIntire,