education 3

Persuasive Speech Outline Example



  • Specific Purpose/Topic: Is Nuclear Waste a Danger to You?


2. Opening with Impact: Please close your eyes and imagine you are sitting on your couch at night, drinking a glass of water, watching television. You have been watching the news and hearing about a natural disaster occurring. You are about to go to sleep when breaking news appears on your screen. The government has declared a nuclear emergency due to damages to a power plant that occurred a few hours ago. You didn’t even know it was near you. Now you’re being forced to evacuate your home. You don’t know if the nuclear disaster affected the food you were eating or the water you were drinking. It will be years before you are even allowed to see your house again. Open your eyes.


Due to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster over 100,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes…Government nervousness delays their return…





3. Thesis: Today, we will be discussing the dangers of nuclear waste. By the end of my speech you will take action to prevent a disaster like that of Fukushima from ever happening in the US



4. Transition to Body: Now that we know our topic of discussion, let’s answer the first question.
























Body: Main Points Phrased as Yes or No Questions




  • Is Waste Disposed of Safely? (First Main Point and Counterargument/Refutation)


  • Counterargument:
  • Waste is being disposed of far away from civilization, and will never physically harm American citizens.
  • The government has plans for disposal



  • Refutation:
  • Waste is being disposed of near rivers, including the Columbia River in the pacific north-west.
  • No long-term plans or storage areas to dispose of waste properly
  • Currently, taxpayers have to pay power plant owners to store the waste, will cost taxpayers $20 billion by the year 2020




  • Does the US Produce Too Much Waste? (Second Main Point)



  • Graph = shows how much waste currently exists and how much it increases per year
  • 70,000 tons increasing by 2000-2300 tons per year.
  • Yucca Mountains in Nevada can only hold 70,000 tons of waste



  • Are We Vulnerable to a Disaster? (Third Main Point)


  • Use quote stating that our nuclear power plants are vulnerable to a disaster much like that of Fukushima


  • Show picture of nuclear power plants in the United States, demonstrating how many are close to the audience



  • Show picture of nuclear power plant 25 miles of Miami and ask for audience to think of any friends or relatives in the area




  • Transition to Call to Action: “Now that we’ve figured out that nuclear waste is in fact dangerous to American society, I will ask for your help.”







Call to Action (FID or DIF)



  • Big Question: How many of you will protest with me outside Florida government offices everyday for the next 2 weeks to show support for proper nuclear waste disposal laws?


Small Ask: If that is too much to ask, how many of you will sign this petition to show your support for proper nuclear waste disposal?








  • Nuclear waste: hearing before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, first session, to receive testimony on S. 1240, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013, July 30, 2013



  • Macfarlane, A. (2011). Its 2050: Do you know where your nuclear waste is? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Jul2011, Vol. 67 Issue 4, p30-36. 7p.

    Persuasive Written Outline Structure

    • Introduction

    • Open with Impact: Interesting fact/story/activity/etc

    • Thesis: your stance on the topic, and what you want the audience to do after your speech

    • Body: At least 3 main points phrased as Yes or No questions

    • 1st Main Point with details

    • 2nd Main Point with details

    • 3rd Main Point with details

    • Counterargument and Refutation

    • At least 1 counterargument from the opposing side, followed by a refutation of that counterargument

    • Can be placed anywhere in your speech. It can be part of your introduction, one of your 3 main points, an extra main point in addition to the required 3, etc.

    • Call to Action

    • Ask the audience to do 2 things to show if they are persuaded

    • One big question

    • One small question

    • Questions can be asked in any order

    List at least 4 Sources

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