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Formal Outline Example

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1073
  • Category: Suicide

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To complete the formal outline for your Informative Speech, use this as one example of a formal outline to help you in your efforts. You are also encouraged to use the formal outline examples in your textbook. Please note that the labels in bold and yellow do not need to be included in your formal outline. Formal Outline: “Teen Suicide” Peter Klemin Introduction I. Attention Catcher: Julie was sitting on the swing in her back yard crying. She had just returned from a big party where her boyfriend Tommy had just dumped her. It seemed like everything was going wrong these days. She was failing her classes, her friends acted too cool for her, and her parents just kept yelling at her to straighten out.

The only problem was that she couldn’t, so Julie swallowed a handful of pills and never woke up. Listener Relevance: Many of you probably had troubles similar to Julie, and some of you may have known a person that took the final leap like Julie. Speaker credibility: I don’t have any personal experiences with teen suicide, but I do have a deep concern for teens that want to end their lives. Thesis: Teen suicide is a serious problem today; one we must no longer ignore. Preview: To help convince you, I will first offer some startling statistics about teen suicide. Second, I will reveal several causes for teen suicide. Third, I will pose several solutions we can implement to prevent teen suicide.


Transition: I would like to begin by giving you some horrifying stats on teen suicide. Body I. First Main Point: The numbers of teens committing suicide these days is horrendous. A. Subpoint: According to a January 2008 article in Current Health magazine entitled “Deadly Teen Trends,” Janice Arenofsky said teen suicide is the third leading cause of adolescent death. One out of four high school kids seriously considers suicide. I. Sub-Subpoint: The article highlighted several recent research studies that has looked at teen suicide.

Several studies show that about 25% of high school students think about committing suicide and of that percent, only 12% have seeked out help from the school counselors of family members. II. Sub-Subpoint: I remember a student in my high school who attempted suicide. Thank goodness, he was not successful. a. Sub-Sub-Subpoint: After his attempted suicide, the school responded by getting more information about the warning signs of suicide to students and parents. b. Sub-Subpoint: When he returned to school, I think students struggled with what to say to him or respond to what had happened.

I know that I was confused and scared of saying the wrong thing. B. Subpoint: In his 1971 book, Adolescent Suicide, Jerry Jacobs wrote that teen suicide was the fifth leading cause of adolescent death. That means that teen suicide is four times more common today than it was 20 years ago. I. Sub-Subpoint: In the 1970s, teen suicide was not often discussed in the schools or in the media. II. Sub-Supboint: Teen suicide was often looked at as a mental issue, unlike today where it’s seen as a complex issue of personality, internal and external pressures, brain chemical imbalance, etc.

Transition: Although the numbers are fairly simple, the causes of suicide are varied. II. Second Main Point: The causes for teen suicide not only vary from person to person, but also from year to year. A. Subpoint: In a June 1967 article in the Saturday Evening Post, Max Gunther wrote that fear of punishment or an overwhelming downfall in sex or school were leading reasons for teen suicide in that era.

I. Sub-Subpoint: As you can see from this article from the 1960s, researchers were actively trying to find the reasons behind teen suicide. During this time period in our history, little was know about the causes of teen suicide. II. Sub-Subpoint: Because of the tremendous changes the country was going through at the time (escalating Vietnam War, social unrest, civil rights, women’s liberation, increased drug usage and Formal Outline Example Page 1 of 2

Public Speaking (SPCH 1101)


sex, etc.), many thought that teen’s committed suicide because of the increased pressures on them during this time. Subpoint: According to Arenofsky’s Current Health article, depression is the leading cause today. I. Sub-Subpoint: Depression caused by obesity, physical differences, low self-esteem, and questions about sexual orientation. II. Sub-Subpoint: Today, more and more teens also have to face issues of divorce, death, abuse, pregnancy, stress and seeing their parents/family struggle with financial burdens.

Transition: Because these problems are not impossible to overcome, we can take steps to prevent teen suicide. III. Third Main Point: All of us have the ability to help prevent teen suicide. A. Subpoint: On the Suicide Awareness/Voices of Education (SAVE) website, accessed on October 1, 2008, this organization stated that knowing the signs of depression is very important because it is the leading cause of teen suicide today. I. Sub-Subpoint: These signs include pessimism, sadness, irritability, helplessness, and talking about death.

II. Sub-Subpoint: The SAVE organization recommends that we need help for the teen. They recommend that you talk to a parent, counselor, doctor, teacher, and/or clergy. B. Subpoint: Listening is also important. I. Sub-Subpoint: SAVE recommends: really listening, reassuring the teen, don’t judge the teen’s reasons, and don’t keep the suicide threat a secret-tell someone. II. Sub-Subpoint: SAVE also recommends that you learn more about the signs of suicide and what to do if you are concerned about what you hear from your friends and family members.

Conclusion I. II. III. Thesis Restatement: Today, I told you about the frightening trend of teen suicide. Main Point Summary: I have given you some stats about teen suicide, causes of teen suicide, and ways to help prevent teen suicide. Clincher: Julie had problems, but she didn’t seek help or receive any help. So, please, if you know someone that is having a tough time in their life, help them or .nd someone who can.


Arenofsky, J. (1997). Teen suicide: when the blues get out of control. Current Health, pp. 16-18. Retrieved September 2, 2006, from http://www.currenthealth.com/teen_suicide Gunther, M. (1967). Why children commit suicide. The Saturday Evening Post, 240, pp. 86-89. Jacobs, J. (1971). Adolescent Suicide. New York, NY: Wiley-Interscience. Suicide Awareness/Voices of Education. [online]. SAVE. Available at: http://www.save.org.html. [1999, October 10].

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