Information for the parents of college students
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What Are Our College Students Talking About?

Once your student heads off to college, staying in touch with his thinking and interests may be more difficult.  Yes, you may talk, e-mail, text, Skype or Facetime with your student, but often these conversations may be more of an opportunity to touch base and find out what’s happening in their lives.  We often spend less time talking about the world or local issues that may be on your student’s mind.

More issue-based conversation may or may not be something that you and your student are interested in, but one window into the some of the topics students think about comes from an informal poll taken by a communication researcher at Arizona State University.  This instructor polled other communication instructors around the nation about the “most overused speech topics” in their speech or communication classes.

There’s nothing scientific or exhaustive about this list, but if the topic is “overused,” it may mean that a great number of students find it worth thinking about and discussing.  Of course, it may also mean that it’s a relatively simple topic to research, but some of these topics are certainly on the minds of today’s college students.  If your student had to give a speech, do you think she might choose any of the topics below?  Try asking her what she might choose?

Most overused speech topics

  1. Lowering the drinking age
  2. Legalizing marijuana
  3. Abortion
  4. Drinking and driving
  5. Exercise
  6. Texting and driving
  7. Recycling
  8. Capital punishment
  9. Wear a seatbelt
  10. Don’t smoke
  11. Eat healthy
  12. Organ donation


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