Skip to Main Content


Begin your research on communication, mass media, and related fields using the best indexes, databases, and reference works selected by the subject librarian.

A definition for Speech

1. (spoken language) The ‘spoken word’: the medium of oral communication, based on the production, transmission, and reception of vocal sound. Traditionally speech was regarded as the primary mode of human language (and communication)—writing being seen as derivative (see also phonocentrism)—but this bias has been challenged (famously by Derrida). See also speech communication.

2. Something spoken; an utterance.

3. A formal utterance for a particular purpose.

4. A single utterance by an actor in a drama.

5. The act of speaking.

6. A particular style of speaking.

7. The dialect or language of a particular region or group.


Chandler, D., & Munday, R. (2020). "Speech." In A Dictionary of Media and Communication. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 Feb. 2022


The Speech component of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College reflects Speech at its best. They've created a forum for dynamic conversations to push their thinking about Speech and other forms of communication. You'll find this spirit of curiosity and enthusiasm reflected in how they talk about, think about, write about, and do Speech. You'll also see their commitment to Speech through their thoughtfully designed courses that help students to become more confident, more effective, more informed communicators.

For more information about Speech at Dartmouth, click here.

[Source, IWR, 02/21/2022]

Finding Library resources

In the library, you can find all of the following ranges on Baker Level 4. There are more, but check the online catalog for more call numbers.

  • Public speaking - call number range PN 4121 through PN 4129.
  • Rhetoric - call number range PN 171.4 through PN 229.
  • Collections of speeches - call number range PN 6121 through PN 6129.
  • Communication - call number range P 87 through P 96.

Useful subject headings for searching in the online catalog include the following:

To find speeches from a specific person, you can use the subject heading:

For more, click here.

Internet resources

Keeping up with the journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for all facets of Communication? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's you can download and read the articles you want.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.