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English Subject Guide: English 9: Freshman English

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Fall 2022

LIBRARY HOURS: Mon., Tues. & Thurs:  7:30am-4:30pm;
Wed: 7:30am-2:15pm (afternoon faculty meeting); Fri: 7:30am-4pm. CLOSED on non-class days.


ENG. 9: Persuasive Speech Assignment 2022

Ted-Talk Style Persuasive Speech Assignment


  • help you learn how to efficiently locate useful sources for your assignment
  • know how to use Google Advanced Search to find good results
  • flex your FACT CHECKING muscles, and understand why this is an IMPORTANT skill!


Start with a question or a topic.

Ex:  What impact has Covid had on the mental health of college students

Brainstorm a list of keywords and phrases relevant to your topic. Be sure to think up some synonyms!

Use quotation marks for exact phrases:

  • "mental health"
  • "well being"
  • "college students"

Now think of additional keywords that could be useful:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • pandemic
  • health
  • stress
  • impact

Google Advanced Search

Here's how to build a strong Advanced Search:

  • use keywords and phrases in quotation marks
  • consider limiting your results by domain (.gov, .org, .com, .edu, etc.)

Be willing to do several searches!  Every time you'll find new results that could be helpful.
What percentage of searchers go beyond the first page of Google results?


Fact Checking Your Sources
This is a critical step to find out the following:

  • is this organization / author reliable?
  • is there a strong political or other bias I need to know about?
  • does the source have the knowledge to be a reliable source on this subject?

What to do to check the reputation of the people and organizations you're finding:

  • Open a new tab in Google, and search for 1) the organization's name (in quotation marks), or 2) the author's name (in quotation marks). Consider adding the word reputation to your search.
  • Discover what OTHER sources have to say about them. You're checking how they are viewed by others.

Now, let's get some fact-checking practice!

We'll break into pairs / groups of 3 to look at assigned sources, and fact check them. Remember, this means scanning the article, but also opening up Google tabs, and learning about the organization's / author's reputation OUTSIDE the page you have been reading.


SOURCE A:  How Much Time Do Teenagers Spend Not Goofing Off?

SOURCE B: Why Eliminating D's and F's does Students No Favors

SOURCE C: As US Space Force Turns 1, Its Trajectory is On Target

Use your scorecard (handout) to evaluate your source.  Get ready, as groups will report back on your findings to the larger group. 

Find Some Sources on Your Own!

Each group should:


  • think of some keywords and phrases for your search
  • use Advanced Search in Google to begin searching
  • each team member should identify some websites that looks useful
  • start checking the credibility of your chosen websites by opening new tabs and investigating the organization and authors
  • document your results using the scorecard!
  • share your findings with your group:  What was easy?  What surprised you?  What was hard to figure out?
  • We'll ask 2-3 groups to share with the class a source they found that they probably WOULDN'T use. We'll all learn from that!

Media Bias Chart

This Media Bias Chart is published by AllSides, an organization that promotes media literacy.

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