Persuasive speech

Persuasive Outline Template


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Beginning on the next page is a template for you to follow in preparing your persuasive outline. The template is a Microsoft Word document. It is filled in with text from a student outline. I strongly suggest you not try to use any outlining resources in Microsoft Word.

Here is how to fill in your own outline:

  • Highlight existing student text and replace it with your own. (Triple click or drag across it with a mouse’s left key held down.)
  • Type your sentences. (The original words should automatically disappear; if they don’t, use the Delete key to eliminate them.) DO NOT replace any parts of the worksheet except the student’s original text.
  • TROUBLESHOOTING TIP: If Microsoft Word performs undesired formatting—such as inserting unwanted letters and numbers and changing the indentation—go to Format menu, click AutoFormat, click Options, choose the “AutoFormat As You Type“ button, and deselect (so that there is no checkmark) these two choices: “Automatic Bulleted Lists” and “Automatic Numbered Lists.”
  • The first time you save your document, choose “Save As“ in the File menu and provide a new name for the file. (This will preserve the original file and its sample.) I recommend you do the “Save As“ soon after you open the document.
  • For Bibliography entries, do the same as for text. Hanging indention should be retained. To determine the MLA format for a source, look under Links in Resources. “Online: A Reference Guide” and “MLA Bibliographic Style” should provide you with examples to help in determining which format a source requires.
  • Do not remove the red type. It is not necessary that it print in red, just don’t remove it from the template when you type your worksheet.
  • When you have completed your worksheet, reduce it to a set of speaking notes. DO NOT USE THIS OUTLINE TO DELIVER YOUR SPEECH.









Genetically Altered Foods: Good or Bad?


General Purpose:    To persuade

Specific Purpose:    I want my audience to agree that genetically altered foods can pose health risks to consumers and our environment.


Attention Step: Focus audience on your message and give them a reason for listening. This step includes an attention-getter, a thesis, a statement of credibility, and a preview of the speeches main points.

  1. Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat”? Well in dealing with genetically engineered foods, this is not necessarily a good thing; in fact it can be very harmful. (Attention-getter)
  2. Today, I would like to make you aware of the negative effects that genetic engineering of foods can cause to individuals and our environment. (Preview)

III. Information gathered for this speech can be credited to several websites I have examined, including the True Food Network, Mindfully, Mothers for Natural Law, and Science in Society. (Credibility)

  1. Organically grown foods are the safe and healthy alternative to the health risks posed by foods that have been genetically altered. (Thesis)

Transition: Let’s begin by looking at some of the problems created by genetically altered foods.

Need Step: Show audience members that a present state of affairs is undesirable or needs changing.

  • Mutations in genetically engineered foods pose potential hazards to human health.
  • Not only are there potential risks to human health; there are also environmental hazards to consider. Chemical and nuclear contamination, for example, can be contained and reversed, but genetically altered organisms cannot be corrected. This type of contamination is called gene pollution.

Transition: As you can understand form these facts, the process of genetic engineering of foods is very harmful, but there are ways to stop the harmful effects of genetic engineering.

Satisfaction Step: Offer a plan to meet the need.

  • Organic farming is a sensible solution to the dangers of genetically engineered goods.
  • Organic farming is a method of growing agricultural products without the use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals that can damage individuals and the environment.
  • Organic crops are healthier for an individual because they have more nutritional value than genetically engineered crops.

Transition: Now that you understand the benefits of organic farming as an alternative to genetically engineered foods, I want to consider the consequences of our failing to act to prevent this technology from having unanticipated and possibly harmful consequences to our lives.

Visualization Step: Describe concretely what will happen if the solution is adopted or the consequences of failing to adopt the proposed solution.

  • Imagine a world where the foods hold few nutrients, the soil is contaminated, and global warming is prominent. This is a world where no organic crops are grown. It’s a world where genetic engineering of plants is widely used.
  • There is much agreement within the scientific community that farming practices that produce genetically altered foods could result in such a world in just such a world that I have asked you to imagine.
  • To prevent serious damages to our health and environment, a change in the way we farm must be made from genetic engineering to organic farming.

Transition: What can you do?

Action Step: Ask the audience to implement the proposal outlined in the satisfaction step.

  • One way you can help keep yourselves and your environment healthy is by showing your support for organic farming. The buying of organically grown fruits and vegetables is a way to do this.
  • Another way to support organic growth is by assuring that the meat you eat, such as chicken and beef, is not fed any kind of genetically engineered foods. Also try to make sure that no steroids or chemicals were given to these animals.


  1. It is obvious that the use of genetically mutated foods can be harmful to the individual and environment. In addition, organic farming can help our health and environment. (Refocus and Summarize)


  1. According to Ralph Nader, genetically modified foods “do not taste better, provide more nutrition, cost less, or look nicer.” Why, then, would you or I run the risk of using them when safer alternatives such as organically grown foods are available? Organic or genetically engineered? Choose organic. (Closer)




“Dangers of Genetic Engineering in Agriculture”. Mothers for Natural Law. Online.

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