CHAPTER
EIGHT
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Organizing the Body of the Speech
©Stephen E. Lucas 2001 All rights reserved.
Chronological Order
A method of speech organization in
which the main points follow a time
pattern.
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Example of Chronological Order
Specific Purpose:
To inform my audience how the Great
Wall of China was built.
Central Idea:
The Great Wall of China was built in
three stages.
Main Points: I.
Building of the Great Wall began
during the Chou dynasty in the fourth
century B.C.
II.
New sections of the Great Wall were
added during the Ch’in, Han, and Sui
dynasties from 221 B.C.-618 A.D.
III.
The Great Wall was completed during
the Ming Dynasty of 1368-1644.
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Spatial Order
A method of speech organization in which
the main points follow a directional pattern.
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Example of Spatial Order
Specific Purpose:
To inform my audience about the
design of the Eiffel Tower.
Central Idea:
The Eiffel Tower is divided into three
sections.
Main Points: I.
The lowest section of the tower
contains the entrance, a gift shop, and
a restaurant.
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II.
The middle section of the tower
consists of stairs and elevators that lead
to the top.
III.
The top section of the tower includes
an observation deck with a spectacular
view of Paris.
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Causal Order
A method of speech organization in which
the main points show a cause-effect
relationship.
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Example of Causal Order
Specific Purpose:
To inform my audience about the possible
causes for the collapse of Mayan
civilization.
Central Idea:
The causes for the collapse of Mayan
civilization have not been fully explained.
Main Points:
I.
II.
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Mayan civilization flourished for over a
thousand years until 900 A.D., when it
mysteriously began to disintegrate.
(EFFECT)
Scholars have advanced three major
explanations for the causes of this
disintegration. (CAUSE)
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Problem-Solution Order
A method of speech organization in which
the first main point deals with the
existence of a problem and the second
main point presents a solution to the
problem.
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Example of Problem-Solution Order
Specific Purpose:
To persuade my audience that the
United States should act now to solve
the problem of adult illiteracy.
Central Idea:
Adult illiteracy is a continuing problem
that can only be solved by a national
commitment on the part of government
and individual citizens.
Main Points: I.
Adult illiteracy has reached crisis
proportions in the United States.
II.
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Solving the problem will require action
by government and citizens alike.
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Topical Order
A method of speech organization in
which the main points divide the the
topic into logical and consistent
subtopics.
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Example of Topical Order
Specific Purpose:
To inform my audience about the
artistic versatility of Pablo Picasso.
Central Idea:
Picasso was equally versatile as a
painter, sculptor, and printmaker.
Main Points:
I. As a painter, Picasso tested the limits
of abstraction.
II. As a sculptor, Picasso often
incorporated “found” objects.
III. As a printmaker, Picasso gave vent
to his whimsy and eroticism.
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Connective
A word or phrase that connects the ideas
of a speech and indicates the relationship
between them.
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Types of Connectives
•
•
•
•
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Transition
Internal preview
Internal summary
Signpost
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Transition
A word or phrase that indicates when
a speaker has finished one thought and
is moving on to another.
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Examples of Transitions
• Now that we have explored the ancient
origins of astrology, let us turn to its
modern popularity.
• So much for the present; what about
the future?
• We have spent a lot of time talking
about the problem. It’s time to discuss
the solution.
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Internal Preview
A statement in the body of the speech
that lets the audience know what the
speaker is going to discuss next.
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Example of an Internal Preview
In discussing how Asian Americans have
been stereotyped in the mass media, we’ll
look first at the origins of the problem and
second at its continuing impact today.
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Transition Combined with
Internal Preview
[Transition]: Now that we have seen how
serious the problem of faulty credit
reports is, let’s look at some solutions.
[Internal Preview]: I will focus on three-instituting tighter government regulation
of credit bureaus, holding credit bureaus
financially responsible for their errors,
and giving individuals easier access to
their credit reports.
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Internal Summary
A statement in the body of the speech
that summarizes the speaker’s preceding
point or points.
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Example of an Internal Summary
In short, palm reading is an ancient art.
Developed in China more than five
thousand years ago, it was practiced
in classical Greece and Rome, flourished
during the Middle Ages, survived the
Industrial Revolution, and remains
popular today.
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Internal Summary Combined with
a Transition
[Internal Summary]: Let’s pause for a
moment to recapitulate what we have found
so far. First, we have seen that America’s
criminal justice system does not effectively
deter crime. Second, we have seen that
prison programs to rehabilitate criminals
have failed miserably. [Transition]: We are
now ready to explore solutions to these
problems.
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Signpost
A very brief statement that indicates
where a speaker is in the speech or that
focuses attention on key ideas.
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Examples of Signpost
The first step in producing a Broadway play is
choosing the play.
The second step in producing a Broadway play is
selecting the cast.
The third step in producing a Broadway play is
conducting the rehearsals.
The fourth step in producing a Broadway play is
performing the play.
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Organizing the Body of the Speech