Please help me begin my assignment to write a speech. Here is the prompt: "Using a range of techniques, compose a speech for or against Australia's involvement in World War 2." (I want...

Please help me begin my assignment to write a speech. Here is the prompt: "Using a range of techniques, compose a speech for or against Australia's involvement in World War 2."

(I want Australia to be involved in WW2)

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

[Enotes educators do not compose speeches or essays for students, but offer suggestions and pointers.]

  • Credibility - In composing a persuasive speech, the student's aim is to shape opinions and persuade listeners to consider a position seriously. In order to be effective, the speech must be well-reasoned with ample support against which the opposing position cannot argue. Therefore, the more factual data and reasons that are given, the stronger the argument will be.
  • Effective Introduction - In persuasive speeches, it is important to make the audience care about the issue. If the student is supposed to be an Australian, an introduction could pose the question of what would happen if Australia becomes isolationist and later needs aid from those who have formed the Allied Powers.
  • Organization - There are three major ways in which to organize persuasive speeches/writing:
  1. Order of Importance - Start with either the most important or the least important. If the student is pretending to be a member of the parliament, for instance, the most important may be the way to start.
  2. Chronological order - Time order is certainly a good choice for this exercise
  3. Logical order - In this order, the student presents the opponents' position and then refutes these through comparison and contrast. For example, the student can allude to other countries who did not wish to enter World War I and what the consequences were to them, or create the hypothetical of what would happen to Australia if it did not retaliate for the bombing of Darwin, for instance.
  • Language - The student should not forget to use emotional appeals as well as logical. No one can forget the power of Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty, or give me death!" in persuading the Virginia Convention.
  • Logical appeals - Presenting the opponents arguments and refuting them is extremely important. The consequences of not responding to preserve the British Empire threatens Australia's safety, indeed.
  • Audience - Consider the attitudes of listeners
  • Closing - The conclusion should leave the audience feeling that the issue has been explored thoroughly. A strong statement of what may occur if Australia does not enter the war would surely be effective.


Here are some facts:

  1. As part of the British Commonwealth, Australia owed allegiance to England. (This is why Prime Minister Menzies joined in the declaration of war in 1939).Also, it was to their own interests to help preserve the British Empire as Hong Kong and other areas in the East were closer than England. 
  2. On February 19, 1942, the Japanese bombed Darwin, Australia, hitting an oil storage tank and ships in order to prevent their use by Allies against the invasions of Timor and Java, the first and strongest of 100 air raids over Australia that caused a number of civilian casualties.According to historical records, "Australian troops defending Malaya were subject to a surprise attack by Japanese troops putting them at defacto war without an official declaration on 7th September 1941." 
  3. Australia joined Britain for the same reason that Russia and France did--the hope that it would support them. (Look into its economy, size of army, etc, at that time in order to ascertain how vulnerable it was.) Australia feared an invasion by Japan.
  4. Many Australians were descended from convicts and indentured servants. They had an almost innate hatred and fear of tyranny and felt it necessary to fight against Fascism. (This point would be good for the emotional appeal)
Wiggin42 | Student

General outline of tasks: 

Research: Gather all the information you can about your topic (World War II) and your subtopic (Australia's involvement). Consider economic, political, and social factors. 

Outline: Determine the most compelling arguments and list them down. In a speech, you want to conclude with your best and most convincing argument. Especially for history, make sure to go in chronological order so that the argument flows and makes sense. 

Write: and write some more! Only with practice does this get better. 

Practice: Read your speech aloud and practice in front of a mirror. As you do this, you will naturally notice what to add or remove. 

Good luck!

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