The following Writing Guides are available. To view guides, click on the list of catgories on the list below. You may view or hide descriptions of the guides.
About the Writing@CSU Guides
These guides are the result of a joint effort of the Writing@CSU project and the Colorado State University Writing Center. Development of these guides began in 1993, when the original Online Writing Center was developed for campus use at Colorado State University. Several guides were developed in Asymmetrix Multimedia Toolbook and then migrated to the Web in 1996. Over the years, additional guides were developed and revised, reflecting the efforts of many writers and writing teachers. We thank them for their generosity. You can learn who developed a particular guide by clicking on the "contributors" link in that guide.
In 2012, the guides were moved into a content management system developed for the Writing@CSU site. Members of the staff in the Colorado State University Writing Center were among the group that migrated the guides to the new system. We are particularly grateful to Carrie Lamanna, Patricia Lincoln, Aubrey Johnson, Christina Shane, Jennifer Lawson, Karen Buntinas, and Ellen Palmquist for their efforts in migrating, editing, and updating the guides.
Restrict your Specific Purpose to one idea only. In Speech 151 for the informative speech your general purpose is to inform. For an informative speech you will want to start your specific purpose statement with "I will inform my audience about...." A Specific Purpose Statement for an informative speech will be phrased much like the following statements. Click here for more examples of Specific Purposes, Central Ideas, and Main Points.
Informative speech specific purpose statements:
- I will inform my audience about the two major forms of hula.
- I will inform my audience about what lifegaurds do as part of their jobs.
When you have your specific purpose statement you are ready to compose your Thesis Statement/Central Idea (they are one in the same). This is the most important part of your speech. This is one sentence that encompasses the central idea of your speech.
Writing your thesis statement/central idea is a four step process:
- Choose your topic
- Determine your general purpose
- Write your specific purpose statement
- Tie it all together by composing a clear concise thesis statement/central idea
"The two major forms of hula that have played an important role in Hawaiian history and have developed into unique dances are the Kahiko and 'Auana."
"Lifegaurding is a great way to spend your days on the beach, but the work includes training, teaching, and lots of practice making it more challenging than what you see on "Baywatch."
Your next step is to compose the main points of your speech. Main points are complete sentences that create a dialogue with your audience. With your main points you want to create questions in the mind of your audience. You will answer the question in your support of your main points. You make a claim in your main points and you support your claim in your subpoints, sub-subpoints, sub-sub-subpoints and so on.
The following are examples of Main points:
Specific Purpose: I will inform my audience about the two major forms of hula.
Central Idea: "The two major forms of hula that have played an important role in Hawaiian history and have developed into unique dances are the Kahiko and 'Auana."
- (Main Point 1) "The ancient hula or Kahiko is a unique form of hula."
- (Main Point 2) "The Kahiko plays an improtant role in the history of Hawaii."
- (Main Point 3) "The 'Auana or modern hula has played an important role in Hawaiian history."
- (Main Point 4) "The 'Auana has developed into a unique form of dance and storytelling."