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Argumentative Essays on Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech essay topic examples, argumentative essays.

Argumentative essays on freedom of speech require you to take a stance on a specific aspect of this topic and provide evidence to support your viewpoint. Consider these topic examples:

  • 1. Argue for the importance of protecting hate speech as a form of free expression, emphasizing the principles of free speech and the potential consequences of limiting it.
  • 2. Debate the ethical implications of social media platforms censoring or moderating content, exploring the balance between maintaining a safe online environment and upholding free speech rights.

Example Introduction Paragraph for an Argumentative Freedom of Speech Essay: Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democratic societies, but it often challenges our notions of what should be protected. In this argumentative essay, we will examine the importance of safeguarding hate speech as a form of free expression, exploring the principles of free speech and the potential ramifications of its restriction.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for an Argumentative Freedom of Speech Essay: In conclusion, the argument for protecting hate speech within the bounds of free expression highlights the enduring principles of democracy and free speech. As we navigate these complex debates, we must remain committed to preserving the foundations of our democratic society.

Compare and Contrast Essays

Compare and contrast essays on freedom of speech involve analyzing the similarities and differences between various aspects of free speech laws, practices, or the historical development of free speech rights in different countries. Consider these topics:

  • 1. Compare and contrast the approach to freedom of speech in the United States and European Union, examining the legal frameworks, historical context, and key differences in their protection of free expression.
  • 2. Analyze the evolution of freedom of speech in the digital age, comparing the challenges and opportunities presented by online platforms and the traditional forms of free expression.

Example Introduction Paragraph for a Compare and Contrast Freedom of Speech Essay: Freedom of speech varies across different countries and contexts, raising questions about the boundaries of this fundamental right. In this compare and contrast essay, we will explore the approaches to freedom of speech in the United States and the European Union, shedding light on their legal frameworks, historical backgrounds, and notable distinctions.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for a Compare and Contrast Freedom of Speech Essay: In conclusion, the comparison and contrast of freedom of speech in the United States and the European Union reveal the multifaceted nature of this fundamental right. As we examine these diverse perspectives, we gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities surrounding free expression in our globalized world.

Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays on freedom of speech allow you to provide detailed accounts and analysis of specific instances, historical events, or contemporary debates related to free speech. Here are some topic ideas:

  • 1. Describe a landmark Supreme Court case related to freedom of speech, such as the "Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District" case, and its significance in shaping free speech rights for students.
  • 2. Paint a vivid picture of a recent protest or demonstration where freedom of speech played a central role, discussing the motivations of the protesters, the public's response, and the outcomes of the event.

Example Introduction Paragraph for a Descriptive Freedom of Speech Essay: Freedom of speech is often tested and defined in the courtroom and in the streets. In this descriptive essay, we will delve into the landmark Supreme Court case "Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District" and its profound impact on the free speech rights of students within the educational system.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for a Descriptive Freedom of Speech Essay: In conclusion, the descriptive exploration of the "Tinker" case illustrates the enduring struggle to balance students' free speech rights with the need for a productive educational environment. As we reflect on this historical event, we are reminded of the ongoing challenges in preserving and defining freedom of speech in schools.

Persuasive Essays

Persuasive essays on freedom of speech involve advocating for specific actions, policies, or changes related to the protection or limitations of free speech rights. Consider these persuasive topics:

  • 1. Persuade your audience of the importance of enacting legislation to combat "cancel culture" and protect individuals' right to express unpopular opinions without fear of social or professional consequences.
  • 2. Advocate for greater transparency and accountability in social media content moderation practices, highlighting the potential impact on free speech and the public's right to access diverse information.

Example Introduction Paragraph for a Persuasive Freedom of Speech Essay: The boundaries of free speech are continually tested in our rapidly changing society. In this persuasive essay, I will make a compelling case for the necessity of legislation to combat "cancel culture" and preserve individuals' right to express dissenting views without facing severe social or professional repercussions.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for a Persuasive Freedom of Speech Essay: In conclusion, the persuasive argument for legislation against "cancel culture" underscores the importance of safeguarding free speech in the face of societal pressures. As we advocate for change, we contribute to the preservation of a diverse and inclusive marketplace of ideas.

Narrative Essays

Narrative essays on freedom of speech allow you to share personal stories, experiences, or observations related to free speech, your encounters with debates or controversies, or the impact of free expression on your life. Explore these narrative essay topics:

  • 1. Narrate a personal experience where you exercised your right to free speech, detailing the circumstances, motivations, and reactions from others, and reflecting on the significance of your actions.
  • 2. Share a story of your involvement in a community or online discussion where freedom of speech played a central role, emphasizing the challenges and rewards of engaging in open dialogue.

Example Introduction Paragraph for a Narrative Freedom of Speech Essay: Freedom of speech is not just an abstract concept; it is a lived experience. In this narrative essay, I will take you through a personal journey where I exercised my right to free speech, recounting the circumstances, motivations, and the impact of my actions on those around me.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for a Narrative Freedom of Speech Essay: In conclusion, the narrative of my personal experience with free speech highlights the transformative power of open dialogue and individual expression. As we share our stories, we contribute to the rich tapestry of voices that define our commitment to this essential democratic principle.

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The Meaning of The Freedom of Speech

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A Study of The True Meaning of Free Speech in Today's Society

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Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right that encompasses the liberty to express thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and ideas without fear of censorship, reprisal, or governmental interference.

1. The right to seek information and ideas; 2. The right to receive information and ideas; 3. The right to impart information and ideas.

The concept of freedom of speech has deep historical roots, originating from ancient civilizations and evolving through various historical contexts. The ancient Greeks, particularly in Athens, valued free expression and public debate, considering it essential for democratic governance. Similarly, the Roman Republic allowed citizens the freedom to express their opinions in political matters. The modern understanding of freedom of speech emerged during the Age of Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries. Prominent thinkers like John Locke and Voltaire advocated for the right to express ideas without censorship or persecution. Their ideas influenced the development of democratic societies and the recognition of freedom of speech as a fundamental human right. The historical context of freedom of speech also includes pivotal moments, such as the American Revolution and the French Revolution. These revolutions challenged the existing oppressive regimes and led to the inclusion of free speech protections in their respective declarations of rights. Since then, the concept of freedom of speech has been enshrined in numerous international human rights documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The freedom of speech is a fundamental right protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. It guarantees individuals the right to express their opinions, beliefs, and ideas without fear of government censorship or retaliation. The historical context of freedom of speech in the US can be traced back to the country's founding. The American Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the Constitution were driven by a desire for individual liberties, including the right to freely express oneself. Over the years, the interpretation and application of freedom of speech in the US have been shaped by landmark court cases. For instance, in the 1960s, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of protecting political and symbolic speech, even if it was controversial or dissenting. This period also saw the rise of the free speech movement, which advocated for greater rights on college campuses. However, the freedom of speech in the US is not absolute. Certain types of speech, such as obscenity, defamation, incitement to violence, and hate speech, are subject to limitations and can be legally restricted.

Thomas Jefferson: As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Jefferson was a staunch advocate for freedom of speech. He believed that a free exchange of ideas was vital for a democratic society and emphasized its protection in the First Amendment. Voltaire: A French philosopher and writer, Voltaire championed the principles of free expression and tolerance. His writings challenged oppressive regimes and promoted the idea that individuals should have the right to speak their minds without fear of persecution. Martin Luther King Jr.: Known for his leadership in the American civil rights movement, King passionately defended free speech as a means to advocate for social justice. His powerful speeches and peaceful protests were instrumental in promoting equality and challenging systemic racism. John Stuart Mill: An influential philosopher and political economist, Mill articulated the concept of the "marketplace of ideas" and argued for unrestricted freedom of speech. He believed that through open and robust debate, society could discover the truth and prevent the suppression of minority viewpoints.

Public opinion on the freedom of speech varies widely, reflecting the diversity of perspectives within societies around the world. While many individuals staunchly uphold the value and importance of free speech as a fundamental human right, others harbor concerns and reservations regarding its boundaries and potential consequences. Additionally, cultural and societal factors significantly shape public opinion on freedom of speech. Different countries and communities may have distinct historical experiences, cultural norms, and legal frameworks that influence their perspectives. The balance between individual freedoms and collective well-being may vary across societies, leading to differing opinions on where the boundaries of free speech should lie. Technological advancements and the rise of social media platforms have further complicated public opinion on freedom of speech. The digital age has enabled individuals to express their views on a global scale, amplifying the impact and reach of their words. However, it has also highlighted concerns about online harassment, the spread of misinformation, and the potential for manipulation and abuse of free speech rights. As a result, debates emerge around the role of platforms in regulating speech and ensuring the responsible use of online communication tools.

1. Protection of democratic principles 2. Advancement of knowledge and progress 3. Promotion of individual autonomy 4. Protection of minority rights 5. Defense against tyranny

1. Harmful and hateful speech 2. Protection of vulnerable groups 3. Misinformation and propaganda 4. Privacy and dignity 5. Societal stability and public safety

1. The recognition of speech protection can be traced back to the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, marking an early milestone in safeguarding the freedom of expression. 2. In 399 BC, the renowned Greek philosopher Socrates faced persecution for his advocacy of unrestricted speech, showcasing the historical roots of the ongoing struggle for free speech rights. 3. A significant majority, approximately 70% of Americans, believe in the importance of granting individuals the right to free speech, even if their words are deemed highly offensive or controversial. 4. A pivotal moment for student rights came in 1969 with the Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines, which affirmed that students maintain their right to free speech even within the confines of school hours.

The topic of freedom of speech is of immense importance for writing an essay due to its fundamental role in society. Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of democracy, enabling individuals to express their opinions, ideas, and beliefs openly without fear of censorship or retribution. It serves as a catalyst for societal progress, allowing for the exchange of diverse perspectives, critical thinking, and the challenging of established norms. Exploring the concept of freedom of speech in an essay provides an opportunity to delve into its historical significance and the ongoing struggles for its protection. It allows for an examination of the complex balance between free expression and the limitations necessary to prevent harm or hate speech. Additionally, discussing the importance of freedom of speech facilitates a deeper understanding of its role in fostering social justice, political discourse, and the protection of minority voices. Moreover, the topic invites exploration of contemporary issues such as online censorship, fake news, and the challenges posed by the digital age. By analyzing case studies, legal frameworks, and international perspectives, an essay on freedom of speech can shed light on the ongoing debates, dilemmas, and potential solutions to ensure its preservation in an ever-evolving society.

1. Sullivan, K. M. (2010). Two concepts of freedom of speech. Harvard Law Review, 124(1), 143-177. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/20788316) 2. Van Mill, D. (2002). Freedom of speech. (https://plato.stanford.edu/ENTRIES/freedom-speech/) 3. Bogen, D. (1983). The origins of freedom of speech and press. Md. L. Rev., 42, 429. (https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/mllr42&div=20&id=&page=) 4. Yong, C. (2011). Does freedom of speech include hate speech?. Res Publica, 17, 385-403. (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11158-011-9158-y) 5. McHugh, M. R. (2004). Historiography and freedom of speech: the case of Cremutius Cordus. In Free Speech in Classical Antiquity (pp. 391-408). Brill. (https://brill.com/display/book/edcoll/9789047405689/B9789047405689-s018.xml) 6. Milo, D. (2008). Defamation and freedom of speech. (https://academic.oup.com/book/2591) 7. Helwig, C. C. (1998). Children's conceptions of fair government and freedom of speech. Child Development, 69(2), 518-531. (https://srcd.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1998.tb06205.x) 8. Cheung, A. S. (2011). Exercising freedom of speech behind the great firewall: A study of judges’ and lawyers’ blogs in China. Harvard International Law Journal Online. (https://harvardilj.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2011/04/HILJ-Online_52_Cheung1.pdf) 9. Nieuwenhuis, A. (2000). Freedom of speech: USA vs Germany and Europe. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 18(2), 195-214. (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/092405190001800203)

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a thesis statement for freedom of speech

Freedom Of Speech - Essay Examples And Topic Ideas For Free

Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community to articulate their opinions without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. Essays could explore the various interpretations of freedom of speech, its limitations, and its impact on democracy and societal harmony. A vast selection of complimentary essay illustrations pertaining to Freedom Of Speech you can find at Papersowl. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

Freedom of Speech and Censorship

The government needs to also look at the First amendment that gives Americans the freedom of speech. Although freedom of speech gave the Americans an opportunity to express themselves, it came with some disadvantages. Some individuals used this freedom to propagate hatred especially racism. Individuals who had something against the blacks would use the freedom of expression clause to protect themselves before making hateful remarks. They would propagate hate between the African Americans and the whites. Some leaders were known […]

Freedom of Speech should not be Limited

Literature has always been tricky. At times, people find certain books to be offensive or inappropriate. People will even go to great lengths to challenge or ban books just because of differing opinions. Limiting free speech has been a constant and continuous argument throughout history. One side argues that certain pieces of writing should be banned or censored due to words, content and themes that are either viewed as inappropriate, controversial or contain language that is no longer acceptable. Violence, […]

First Amendment Values

Americans value the First Amendment as much as a teenage girl values her cell phone. Life just wouldn't be the same without it. Thanks to the authors of the Constitution America has established the fundamental laws, government, and basic rights for American citizens. The document was signed on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia. Later, Madison introduced 19 amendments, 12 of which were adopted. Ten of them were ratified and became the Bill of Rights on December 10, 1791. The First […]

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Freedom of Speech on Social Media

Social media and freedom of speech have taken over the world. People read on the news every day about people being punished for what they post on social media. To what limit should people be punished for what they post? When people post online, everyone can see the material. It does not matter if the account is private. People should face consequences for their actions on social media if their post is offensive, containing work information, or includes a provocative […]

Importance of Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech Taken from People Many people around the world are forced to live without a voice for themselves. These people live in constant fear of the consequences they may face if they do voice their opinions. This lack of a voice goes against the inalienable right that is known as freedom of speech, which is defined as “the legal right to express one’s opinion freely” (Merriam-Webster, 2020). These restrictions of free speech can be countered through the use […]

What Freedom Means to me

There are millions of people around the world that live under conditions where the government withholds their human freedoms from them. Some people can not practice the religion they truly believe in, and others are scared for their lives on a daily basis. No matter how many restrictions citizens of different countries must abide by, nobody should be forced into silence. To “be free” means that everybody has the right to raise up their voice, and act for what they […]

Justice Freedom of Speech

With the popularity of the Internet, the network media has broken the limitation of the traditional media in the freedom of speech, and people can enjoy expressing opinions and spreading information. The infinity of the Internet brings many benefits to people, such as searching for information and watching videos. At the same time, the virtual nature of the network also brings hidden dangers for people, such as spreading false information, human flesh search, and so on. One of the reasons […]

Should Freedom of Speech be Limited

In this paper each author reflects their own moral opinion on hate speech shared with freedom of speech and the results from it containing negative content. There are several authors who discuss hate speech in considerations of freedom of speech. Despite strong objections I trust that society is obligated to protect its citizens and prevent any harm done in relation to hate speech under freedom of speech law. First, In “Freedom of Speech” David van Mill argues freedom of speech […]

Negative Side-Effects of Free Speech

Since the beginning of our country, one of our founding principles has been the right to express yourself through speech, media, or any other means of communication. For a long time those that founded our country were under the control of the British, and the lack of freedom to do and say what was on your mind was very constrained. With the American Revolution, we fought for the right to convey our beliefs without fear of another governing force taking […]

What is Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is the right of ones' right to express and communicate their ideas, opinion, and beliefs. As a result, nobody should fear being reprimanded, punished, or expurgated by society and perhaps the government at large. In most cases, it is done to attract mass attention from the community. It is entirely synonymous to seeking freedom of denied privileges such as an inappropriate distribution of public resources and side-lining of the minority among others. It is a universal right […]

Freedom of Speech in the United States

Freedom of speech has been protected in The United States by the First Amendment since 1791. For over 100 years, this right, though symbolically important, has sat dormant. However today, freedom of speech has been in the headlines due to its involvement in controversial topics surrounding the media, political correctness, and “hate speech”. Hateful beliefs and intolerance towards those with different characteristics exist throughout society and results in an environment of hate. Americans now have a hard choice to make […]

Internet Censorship Laws in Saudi Arabia

"The thought of not being able to express oneself through the internet without repercussions might seem implausible; however, it is an ongoing problem in countries like Saudi Arabia. Currently, Saudi Arabia holds a score of 73 out of 100 for its Internet Freedom Score, which sets it as “not free” (“Saudi Arabia Internet Score”). Citizens are prohibited from visiting and accessing many parts of the web due to governmental restrictions based on immoral and “radically” opinionated content. This limits their […]

On Freedom of Speech and Expression

Privacy is an essential right that every citizen of the United States is granted. Under the first amendment of the constitution rights such as freedom of press, speech, and privacy are protected. The first amendment separates the United States’ constitution from many other countries for a simple reason, the freedom of speech and expression. Freedom of speech and expression is the right to speak freely without fear of repercussion from the government simply because it doesn’t like the content of […]

Freedom of Speech Today

The citizens of the United States of America exercise their First Amendment right, freedom of speech in their day to day lives. Being able to voice their opinion and speak up for what they believe in is what gives our country its degree of autonomy. Having the freedom of speech is a blissful thing that people in other countries long for; such lack of censorship. Despite this freedom, it is not a free for all and has to be regulated […]

On Freedom of Speech in School

What is personal liberty? Liberty is being free to do whatever the individual may want to do without restrictions. This can include things such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion and the freedom to bear arms. Anyone living in the United States are actually guaranteed these rights, right from birth. We also live in a society where these rights are given, but are also restricted or limited to a certain extent. We live in a country where anything […]

First Amendment Freedom of Speech

The 2017 Berkeley protests organized by different groups including By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) were an abject violation of the freedom of speech as outlined in the First Amendment of the American constitution. The protests successfully stopped a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial Breitbart editor and a self-declared Trump supporter. The protests turned violent and led to the destruction of the property thus posing significant harm to the society. In defending the protests, Yvette Felarca, BAMN’s spokesperson argued that […]

News and Democracy in Different Media Systems

Many decades ago, Siebert, Peterson, and Schramm (1959) posed a question related to the concepts of the press and its role in society, “Why is the press as it is? Why does it apparently serve different purposes and appear in widely different forms in different countries?” The answers to these questions led the authors to present the Authoritarian, the Soviet communist, the Libertarian, and the Social Responsibility models, which explain what the press should be and do in different countries. […]

Hatred under the Freedom of Speech

There is a thin line between an open expression of plain hatred and the expression of opinion. It is safe to assume that every person at some point of his or her life, either witnessed or experienced a bias from bigots based on race, nationality, sex, or other characteristics. People interpret “hate speech” differently; some compare it to the crime; others see it as practicing the First Amendment. Both groups can bring a lot of arguments to support their point […]

Gender Identity and Freedom of Speech

The views of professor of psychology, Jordan Peterson at the University of Toronto on the issue of gender identity and his beliefs, position and refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns has sparked debates. The arguments by the professor have arisen a lot of objective and subjective intuition on his stand that his freedom of speech and need to become politically correct cannot determine by use of pronouns. Discussions are presented in different articles by Ellen Brait, a staff reporter for the […]

Pros and Cons of Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech stands tall in the vast expanse of human rights, often seen as the mighty guardian of democracy. Imagine a world where voices are muzzled, opinions censored, and thoughts shackled. Sounds dystopian, right? But pivot the lens and consider the flip side: a world where every whisper is amplified, hate finds as much space as love, and cacophony reigns. This is the double-edged nature of free speech. As we unravel this complex tapestry, we'll delve into the undeniably […]

Freedom of Speech Boundaries: Exploring Prior Restraint from a Free Speech Perspective

Freedom of speech, enshrined in countless legal traditions, remains a fundamental human right recognized globally. However, like all rights, it faces certain limitations, particularly when governments or legal bodies attempt to curb speech before it is expressed—a concept legally known as "prior restraint." This term, seemingly benign in its legalese, carries profound implications for the dynamics of free expression and the dissemination of information. At its core, prior restraint refers to government actions that prevent communication before it takes place. […]

Hate Speech Debate and Discussion

In the wake of technological advancement immorality in college campus have increased. For instance, parents are sending their girls in all-girls boarding schools, and they are coming home emotionally traumatized and with low self-esteem because of sexual abuse by the older same sex. Indeed, sexual harassment and discrimination have increased in schools which are stimulating hatred and school dropouts following the progress of technology in the community. Although the immoralities are punishable and illegal in the country, they have continually […]

1st Amendment and Congress

David Thuita I Amendment "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The beginning of the second amendment finds its root in Athens, Greece during the 400s B.C., where free men were allowed to freely speak. Athen theaters, writings, and educational institutions all […]

Question of Womens Educational Rights

What if you were not allowed to have a voice and share what you think just because of your gender? How would that make you feel? Well, this is a common thing that happens in our country and across the world. That is why I am focusing on Women's Rights as my Exhibition topic. I want this to stop. Our class Central Idea is, "Global opportunities may create conflict between people and other living things." Our groups Central Idea had […]

Modern Day Censorship: Syria

How much do we value our freedom of speech as citizens of the United States of America? Would you risk your life to report news that might make an impact in the lives of many? Many countries around the world maintain very strict guidelines in what can be reported and broadcasted. In many countries this amount of strict censorship could even lead to you getting either tortured or killed. One modern day censored country would be the Middle Eastern country […]

Defining Censorship

Censorship is the restriction of speech, communication or other information. Censorship affects our society in different ways. Censorship is usually determined by the government or a private foundation. It influences the music we tune in to, news articles, films, and the books we read. Censorship is a widely debated topic, and can be either harmful or protective to a society. It is possible to argue that censorship has no place in a nation that focuses on freedom of expression, because […]

What does the Constitution Mean to Me? a Deep Dive into its Complex Tapestry

The Constitution - those words etched upon the pages of history, a beacon of governance transcending time and guiding nations. In my contemplation, I invite you to delve into the intricate corridors of this foundational document. Throughout this journey, we'll ponder its nuances and decipher the threads of thought it weaves across the tapestry of our society. As I traverse its provisions, I invite you to join me in solving the echoes of the Constitution's wisdom, as its words, like […]

A Comparison of Free Speech and Hate Speech in France, Citing Charlie Hebdo Shootings as the Biggest Threat to Free Speech this Year

The line between free speech and hate speech is constantly debated. When does one cross the line from expressing an opinion to openly encouraging hatred of a group? Ridiculing a belief system is protected under free speech, as long as one is not inciting hate or violence against the followers of that belief system. Free speech exists to allow us to openly express our beliefs and argue with others about theirs. France has, for a long time, separated church and […]

The Need for the Restrictions of Hate Speech in America

Recently, the Westboro Baptist Church has been quite often in the headlines. The Anti-Defamation League's website calls the church "a small virulently homophobic, anti-Semitic hate group" based in Topeka, Kansas ("About WBC"). Since 2005, Westboro has often picketed the funerals of homosexual soldiers with signs that say "God Hates Fags" or "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" ("Pickets inspire legislation and legal action"). This behavior is offensive to the grieving families, and many states have tried to enact legislation that limits […]

Countries that Ban Same-sex Intercourse is this a Violation of International Law?

Is against the law to murder a person based up on their sexual preference? Would you take away a Civil Liberty? This But is a question you should pounder as you read my paper. But we are going to look at the international aspect. There are many countries where same-sex intercourse and or marriage is against the law. Imagine this being your reality. Having to hide from your family and friend and pretend to be someone else. You wonder should […]

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How To Write an Essay About Freedom Of Speech

Understanding the concept of freedom of speech.

Before you start writing an essay about freedom of speech, it is important to understand what the concept entails. Freedom of speech, often considered a fundamental human right, is the ability to express one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship. Begin your essay by defining freedom of speech and its importance in a democratic society. You might also want to explore its historical origins, how it has evolved over time, and how it is implemented in different countries. This foundational understanding sets the stage for a more in-depth exploration of the topic.

Developing a Thesis Statement

A compelling essay on freedom of speech should have a clear and concise thesis statement. This statement should present your unique perspective or argument about freedom of speech. For instance, you might argue that freedom of speech is essential for democracy, or that there should be limitations to freedom of speech to prevent hate speech and misinformation. Your thesis will guide the direction of your essay and provide a central argument for your readers to consider.

Gathering Supporting Evidence

To support your thesis, gather relevant evidence and examples. This might include legal cases, historical examples, current events, or academic research. For example, if you are discussing the limitations of freedom of speech, you might examine specific legal cases that demonstrate the consequences of unchecked speech. This evidence is crucial as it backs up your argument and provides a solid foundation for your essay.

Analyzing Different Perspectives

An essay about freedom of speech should also consider different perspectives and counterarguments. This could include examining arguments for and against limitations on speech, such as national security concerns, hate speech laws, or the right to protest. Discussing these different viewpoints shows a comprehensive understanding of the topic and can strengthen your argument by demonstrating that you have considered various angles.

Concluding Your Essay

Your conclusion should summarize the main points of your essay and restate your thesis in light of the evidence and discussion provided. It's an opportunity to emphasize the importance of freedom of speech and its impact on society. You might also want to highlight any areas where further research or discussion is needed, or the potential future challenges to freedom of speech.

Final Review and Editing

After writing your essay, review and edit it for clarity, coherence, and accuracy. Ensure that your arguments are well-structured and supported by evidence. Pay attention to grammar and syntax to ensure your writing is clear and professional. Seeking feedback from others can also provide new insights and help polish your essay. A well-written essay on freedom of speech not only reflects your understanding of the topic but also your ability to engage critically with complex societal issues.

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14 Crafting a Thesis Statement

Learning Objectives

  • Craft a thesis statement that is clear, concise, and declarative.
  • Narrow your topic based on your thesis statement and consider the ways that your main points will support the thesis.

Crafting a Thesis Statement

A  thesis statement  is a short, declarative sentence that states the purpose, intent, or main idea of a speech. A strong, clear thesis statement is very valuable within an introduction because it lays out the basic goal of the entire speech. We strongly believe that it is worthwhile to invest some time in framing and writing a good thesis statement. You may even want to write your thesis statement before you even begin conducting research for your speech. While you may end up rewriting your thesis statement later, having a clear idea of your purpose, intent, or main idea before you start searching for research will help you focus on the most appropriate material. To help us understand thesis statements, we will first explore their basic functions and then discuss how to write a thesis statement.

Basic Functions of a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement helps your audience by letting them know, clearly and concisely, what you are going to talk about. A strong thesis statement will allow your reader to understand the central message of your speech. You will want to be as specific as possible. A thesis statement for informative speaking should be a declarative statement that is clear and concise; it will tell the audience what to expect in your speech. For persuasive speaking, a thesis statement should have a narrow focus and should be arguable, there must be an argument to explore within the speech. The exploration piece will come with research, but we will discuss that in the main points. For now, you will need to consider your specific purpose and how this relates directly to what you want to tell this audience. Remember, no matter if your general purpose is to inform or persuade, your thesis will be a declarative statement that reflects your purpose.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Now that we’ve looked at why a thesis statement is crucial in a speech, let’s switch gears and talk about how we go about writing a solid thesis statement. A thesis statement is related to the general and specific purposes of a speech.

Once you have chosen your topic and determined your purpose, you will need to make sure your topic is narrow. One of the hardest parts of writing a thesis statement is narrowing a speech from a broad topic to one that can be easily covered during a five- to seven-minute speech. While five to seven minutes may sound like a long time for new public speakers, the time flies by very quickly when you are speaking. You can easily run out of time if your topic is too broad. To ascertain if your topic is narrow enough for a specific time frame, ask yourself three questions.

Is your speech topic a broad overgeneralization of a topic?

Overgeneralization occurs when we classify everyone in a specific group as having a specific characteristic. For example, a speaker’s thesis statement that “all members of the National Council of La Raza are militant” is an overgeneralization of all members of the organization. Furthermore, a speaker would have to correctly demonstrate that all members of the organization are militant for the thesis statement to be proven, which is a very difficult task since the National Council of La Raza consists of millions of Hispanic Americans. A more appropriate thesis related to this topic could be, “Since the creation of the National Council of La Raza [NCLR] in 1968, the NCLR has become increasingly militant in addressing the causes of Hispanics in the United States.”

Is your speech’s topic one clear topic or multiple topics?

A strong thesis statement consists of only a single topic. The following is an example of a thesis statement that contains too many topics: “Medical marijuana, prostitution, and Women’s Equal Rights Amendment should all be legalized in the United States.” Not only are all three fairly broad, but you also have three completely unrelated topics thrown into a single thesis statement. Instead of a thesis statement that has multiple topics, limit yourself to only one topic. Here’s an example of a thesis statement examining only one topic: Ratifying the Women’s Equal Rights Amendment as equal citizens under the United States law would protect women by requiring state and federal law to engage in equitable freedoms among the sexes.

Does the topic have direction?

If your basic topic is too broad, you will never have a solid thesis statement or a coherent speech. For example, if you start off with the topic “Barack Obama is a role model for everyone,” what do you mean by this statement? Do you think President Obama is a role model because of his dedication to civic service? Do you think he’s a role model because he’s a good basketball player? Do you think he’s a good role model because he’s an excellent public speaker? When your topic is too broad, almost anything can become part of the topic. This ultimately leads to a lack of direction and coherence within the speech itself. To make a cleaner topic, a speaker needs to narrow her or his topic to one specific area. For example, you may want to examine why President Obama is a good public speaker.

Put Your Topic into a Declarative Sentence

You wrote your general and specific purpose. Use this information to guide your thesis statement. If you wrote a clear purpose, it will be easy to turn this into a declarative statement.

General purpose: To inform

Specific purpose: To inform my audience about the lyricism of former President Barack Obama’s presentation skills.

Your thesis statement needs to be a declarative statement. This means it needs to actually state something. If a speaker says, “I am going to talk to you about the effects of social media,” this tells you nothing about the speech content. Are the effects positive? Are they negative? Are they both? We don’t know. This sentence is an announcement, not a thesis statement. A declarative statement clearly states the message of your speech.

For example, you could turn the topic of President Obama’s public speaking skills into the following sentence: “Because of his unique sense of lyricism and his well-developed presentational skills, President Barack Obama is a modern symbol of the power of public speaking.” Or you could state, “Socal media has both positive and negative effects on users.”

Adding your Argument, Viewpoint, or Opinion

If your topic is informative, your job is to make sure that the thesis statement is nonargumentative and focuses on facts. For example, in the preceding thesis statement, we have a couple of opinion-oriented terms that should be avoided for informative speeches: “unique sense,” “well-developed,” and “power.” All three of these terms are laced with an individual’s opinion, which is fine for a persuasive speech but not for an informative speech. For informative speeches, the goal of a thesis statement is to explain what the speech will be informing the audience about, not attempting to add the speaker’s opinion about the speech’s topic. For an informative speech, you could rewrite the thesis statement to read, “Barack Obama’s use of lyricism in his speech, ‘A World That Stands as One,’ delivered July 2008 in Berlin demonstrates exceptional use of rhetorical strategies. 

On the other hand, if your topic is persuasive, you want to make sure that your argument, viewpoint, or opinion is clearly indicated within the thesis statement. If you are going to argue that Barack Obama is a great speaker, then you should set up this argument within your thesis statement.

For example, you could turn the topic of President Obama’s public speaking skills into the following sentence: “Because of his unique sense of lyricism and his well-developed presentational skills, President Barack Obama is a modern symbol of the power of public speaking.” Once you have a clear topic sentence, you can start tweaking the thesis statement to help set up the purpose of your speech.

Thesis Checklist

Once you have written a first draft of your thesis statement, you’re probably going to end up revising your thesis statement a number of times prior to delivering your actual speech. A thesis statement is something that is constantly tweaked until the speech is given. As your speech develops, often your thesis will need to be rewritten to whatever direction the speech itself has taken. We often start with a speech going in one direction, and find out through our research that we should have gone in a different direction. When you think you finally have a thesis statement that is good to go for your speech, take a second and make sure it adheres to the criteria shown below.

Thesis checklist questions.

Preview of Speech

The preview, as stated in the introduction portion of our readings, reminds us that we will need to let the audience know what the main points in our speech will be. You will want to follow the thesis with the preview of your speech. Your preview will allow the audience to follow your main points in a sequential manner. Spoiler alert: The preview when stated out loud will remind you of main point 1, main point 2, and main point 3 (etc. if you have more or less main points). It is a built in memory card!

For Future Reference | How to organize this in an outline |

Introduction

Attention Getter: Background information: Credibility: Thesis: Preview:

Key Takeaways

Introductions are foundational to an effective public speech.

  • A thesis statement is instrumental to a speech that is well-developed and supported.
  • Be sure that you are spending enough time brainstorming strong attention getters and considering your audience’s goal(s) for the introduction.
  • A strong thesis will allow you to follow a roadmap throughout the rest of your speech: it is worth spending the extra time to ensure you have a strong thesis statement.

Stand up, Speak out  by University of Minnesota is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Public Speaking Copyright © by Dr. Layne Goodman; Amber Green, M.A.; and Various is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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On Thesis Statements

The thesis statement.

This is not an exhaustive list of bad thesis statements, but here're five kinds of problems I've seen most often. Notice that the last two, #4 and #5, are not necessarily incorrect or illegitimate thesis statements, but, rather, inappropriate for the purposes of this course. They may be useful forms for papers on different topics in other courses.

A thesis takes a position on an issue. It is different from a topic sentence in that a thesis statement is not neutral. It announces, in addition to the topic, the argument you want to make or the point you want to prove. This is your own opinion that you intend to back up. This is your reason and motivation for writing.

Bad Thesis 1

Bad Thesis 2 : This paper will consider the advantages and disadvantages of certain restrictions on free speech.

Better Thesis 1 : Stanley Fish's argument that free speech exists more as a political prize than as a legal reality ignores the fact that even as a political prize it still serves the social end of creating a general cultural atmosphere of tolerance that may ultimately promote free speech in our nation just as effectively as any binding law.

Better Thesis 2 : Even though there may be considerable advantages to restricting hate speech, the possibility of chilling open dialogue on crucial racial issues is too great and too high a price to pay.

A thesis should be as specific as possible, and it should be tailored to reflect the scope of the paper. It is not possible, for instance, to write about the history of English literature in a 5 page paper. In addition to choosing simply a smaller topic, strategies to narrow a thesis include specifying a method or perspective or delineating certain limits.

Bad Thesis 2 : The government has the right to limit free speech.

Better Thesis 1 : There should be no restrictions on the 1st amendment if those restrictions are intended merely to protect individuals from unspecified or otherwise unquantifiable or unverifiable "emotional distress."

Better Thesis 2 : The government has the right to limit free speech in cases of overtly racist or sexist language because our failure to address such abuses would effectively suggest that our society condones such ignorant and hateful views.

A thesis must be arguable. And in order for it to be arguable, it must present a view that someone might reasonably contest. Sometimes a thesis ultimately says, "we should be good," or "bad things are bad." Such thesis statements are tautological or so universally accepted that there is no need to prove the point.

Bad Thesis 2 : There are always alternatives to using racist speech.

Better Thesis 1 : If we can accept that emotional injuries can be just as painful as physical ones we should limit speech that may hurt people's feelings in ways similar to the way we limit speech that may lead directly to bodily harm.

Better Thesis 2 : The "fighting words" exception to free speech is not legitimate because it wrongly considers speech as an action.

A good argumentative thesis provides not only a position on an issue, but also suggests the structure of the paper. The thesis should allow the reader to imagine and anticipate the flow of the paper, in which a sequence of points logically prove the essay's main assertion. A list essay provides no such structure, so that different points and paragraphs appear arbitrary with no logical connection to one another.

Bad Thesis 2 : None of the arguments in favor of regulating pornography are persuasive.

Better Thesis 1 : Among the many reasons we need to limit hate speech the most compelling ones all refer to our history of discrimination and prejudice, and it is, ultimately, for the purpose of trying to repair our troubled racial society that we need hate speech legislation.

Better Thesis 2 : None of the arguments in favor of regulating pornography are persuasive because they all base their points on the unverifiable and questionable assumption that the producers of pornography necessarily harbor ill will specifically to women.

In an other course this would not be at all unacceptable, and, in fact, possibly even desirable. But in this kind of course, a thesis statement that makes a factual claim that can be verified only with scientific, sociological, psychological or other kind of experimental evidence is not appropriate. You need to construct a thesis that you are prepared to prove using the tools you have available, without having to consult the world's leading expert on the issue to provide you with a definitive judgment.

Bad Thesis 2 : Hate speech can cause emotional pain and suffering in victims just as intense as physical battery.

Better Thesis 1 : Whether or not the cultural concept of free speech bears any relation to the reality of 1st amendment legislation and jurisprudence, its continuing social function as a promoter of tolerance and intellectual exchange trumps the call for politicization (according to Fish's agenda) of the term.

Better Thesis 2 : The various arguments against the regulation of hate speech depend on the unspoken and unexamined assumption that emotional pain is either trivial.

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Speechwriting

8 Purpose and Thesis

Speechwriting Essentials

In this chapter . . .

As discussed in the chapter on Speaking Occasion , speechwriting begins with careful analysis of the speech occasion and its given circumstances, leading to the choice of an appropriate topic. As with essay writing, the early work of speechwriting follows familiar steps: brainstorming, research, pre-writing, thesis, and so on.

This chapter focuses on techniques that are unique to speechwriting. As a spoken form, speeches must be clear  about the purpose and main idea or “takeaway.” Planned redundancy means that you will be repeating these elements several times over during the speech.

Furthermore, finding purpose and thesis are essential whether you’re preparing an outline for extemporaneous delivery or a completely written manuscript for presentation. When you know your topic, your general and specific purpose, and your thesis or central idea, you have all the elements you need to write a speech that is focused, clear, and audience friendly.

Recognizing the General Purpose

Speeches have traditionally been grouped into one of three categories according to their primary purpose: 1) to inform, 2) to persuade, or 3) to inspire, honor, or entertain. These broad goals are commonly known as the  general purpose of a speech . Earlier, you learned about the actor’s tool of intention or objectives. The general purpose is like a super-objective; it defines the broadest goal of a speech. These three purposes are not necessarily exclusive to the others. A speech designed to be persuasive can also be informative and entertaining. However, a speech should have one primary goal. That is its general purpose.

Why is it helpful to talk about speeches in such broad terms? Being perfectly clear about what you want your speech to do or make happen for your audience will keep you focused. You can make a clearer distinction between whether you want your audience to leave your speech knowing more (to inform), or  ready to take action (to persuade), or feeling something (to inspire)

It’s okay to use synonyms for these broad categories. Here are some of them:

  • To inform could be to explain, to demonstrate, to describe, to teach.
  • To persuade could be to convince, to argue, to motivate, to prove.
  • To inspire might be to honor, or entertain, to celebrate, to mourn.

In summary, the first question you must ask yourself when starting to prepare a speech is, “Is the primary purpose of my speech to inform, to persuade, or to inspire?”

Articulating Specific Purpose

A specific purpose statement builds upon your general purpose and makes it specific (as the name suggests). For example, if you have been invited to give a speech about how to do something, your general purpose is “to inform.”  Choosing a topic appropriate to that general purpose, you decide to speak about how to protect a personal from cyberattacks. Now you are on your way to identifying a specific purpose.

A good specific purpose statement has three elements: goal, target audience, and content.

If you think about the above as a kind of recipe, then the first two “ingredients” — your goal and your audience — should be simple. Words describing the target audience should be as specific as possible. Instead of “my peers,” you could say, for example, “students in their senior year at my university.”

The third ingredient in this recipe is content, or what we call the topic of your speech. This is where things get a bit difficult. You want your content to be specific and something that you can express succinctly in a sentence. Here are some common problems that speakers make in defining the content, and the fix:

Now you know the “recipe” for a specific purpose statement. It’s made up of  T o, plus an active W ord, a specific  A udience, and clearly stated  C ontent. Remember this formula: T + W + A + C.

A: for a group of new students

C: the term “plagiarism”

Here are some further examples a good specific purpose statement:

  • To explain to a group of first-year students how to join a school organization.
  • To persuade the members of the Greek society to take a spring break trip in Daytona Beach.
  • To motivate my classmates in English 101 to participate in a study abroad program.
  • To convince first-year students that they need at least seven hours of sleep per night to do well in their studies.
  • To inspire my Church community about the accomplishments of our pastor.

The General and Specific Purpose Statements are writing tools in the sense that they help you, as a speechwriter, clarify your ideas.

Creating a Thesis Statement

Once you are clear about your general purpose and specific purpose, you can turn your attention to crafting a thesis statement. A thesis is the central idea in an essay or a speech. In speechwriting, the thesis or central idea explains the message of the content. It’s the speech’s “takeaway.” A good thesis statement will also reveal and clarify the ideas or assertions you’ll be addressing in your speech (your main points). Consider this example:

General Purpose: To persuade. Specific Purpose: To motivate my classmates in English 101 to participate in a study abroad program. Thesis: A semester-long study abroad experience produces lifelong benefits by teaching you about another culture, developing your language skills, and enhancing your future career prospects.

The difference between a specific purpose statement and a thesis statement is clear in this example. The thesis provides the takeaway (the lifelong benefits of study abroad). It also points to the assertions that will be addressed in the speech. Like the specific purpose statement, the thesis statement is a writing tool. You’ll incorporate it into your speech, usually as part of the introduction and conclusion.

All good expository, rhetorical, and even narrative writing contains a thesis. Many students and even experienced writers struggle with formulating a thesis. We struggle when we attempt to “come up with something” before doing the necessary research and reflection. A thesis only becomes clear through the thinking and writing process. As you develop your speech content, keep asking yourself: What is important here? If the audience can remember only one thing about this topic, what do I want them to remember?

Example #2: General Purpose: To inform Specific Purpose: To demonstrate to my audience the correct method for cleaning a computer keyboard. Central Idea: Your computer keyboard needs regular cleaning to function well, and you can achieve that in four easy steps.
Example # 3 General Purpose: To Inform Specific Purpose: To describe how makeup is done for the TV show The Walking Dead . Central Idea: The wildly popular zombie show The Walking Dead achieves incredibly scary and believable makeup effects, and in the next few minutes I will tell you who does it, what they use, and how they do it.

Notice in the examples above that neither the specific purpose nor the central idea ever exceeds one sentence. If your central idea consists of more than one sentence, then you are probably including too much information.

Problems to Avoid

The first problem many students have in writing their specific purpose statement has already been mentioned: specific purpose statements sometimes try to cover far too much and are too broad. For example:

“To explain to my classmates the history of ballet.”

Aside from the fact that this subject may be difficult for everyone in your audience to relate to, it’s enough for a three-hour lecture, maybe even a whole course. You’ll probably find that your first attempt at a specific purpose statement will need refining. These examples are much more specific and much more manageable given the limited amount of time you’ll have.

  • To explain to my classmates how ballet came to be performed and studied in the U.S.
  • To explain to my classmates the difference between Russian and French ballet.
  • To explain to my classmates how ballet originated as an art form in the Renaissance.
  • To explain to my classmates the origin of the ballet dancers’ clothing.

The second problem happens when the “communication verb” in the specific purpose does not match the content; for example, persuasive content is paired with “to inform” or “to explain.” Can you find the errors in the following purpose statements?

  • To inform my audience why capital punishment is unconstitutional. (This is persuasive. It can’t be informative since it’s taking a side)
  • To persuade my audience about the three types of individual retirement accounts. (Even though the purpose statement says “persuade,” it isn’t persuading the audience of anything. It is informative.)
  • To inform my classmates that Universal Studios is a better theme park than Six Flags over Georgia. (This is clearly an opinion; hence it is a persuasive speech and not merely informative)

The third problem exists when the content part of the specific purpose statement has two parts. One specific purpose is enough. These examples cover two different topics.

  • To explain to my audience how to swing a golf club and choose the best golf shoes.
  • To persuade my classmates to be involved in the Special Olympics and vote to fund better classes for the intellectually disabled.

To fix this problem of combined or hybrid purposes, you’ll need to select one of the topics in these examples and speak on that one alone.

The fourth problem with both specific purpose and central idea statements is related to formatting. There are some general guidelines that need to be followed in terms of how you write out these elements of your speech:

  • Don’t write either statement as a question.
  • Always use complete sentences for central idea statements and infinitive phrases (beginning with “to”) for the specific purpose statement.
  • Use concrete language (“I admire Beyoncé for being a talented performer and businesswoman”) and avoid subjective or slang terms (“My speech is about why I think Beyoncé is the bomb”) or jargon and acronyms (“PLA is better than CBE for adult learners.”)

There are also problems to avoid in writing the central idea statement. As mentioned above, remember that:

  • The specific purpose and central idea statements are not the same thing, although they are related.
  • The central idea statement should be clear and not complicated or wordy; it should “stand out” to the audience. As you practice delivery, you should emphasize it with your voice.
  • The central idea statement should not be the first thing you say but should follow the steps of a good introduction as outlined in the next chapters.

You should be aware that all aspects of your speech are constantly going to change as you move toward the moment of giving your speech. The exact wording of your central idea may change, and you can experiment with different versions for effectiveness. However, your specific purpose statement should not change unless there is a good reason to do so. There are many aspects to consider in the seemingly simple task of writing a specific purpose statement and its companion, the central idea statement. Writing good ones at the beginning will save you some trouble later in the speech preparation process.

Public Speaking as Performance Copyright © 2023 by Mechele Leon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

a thesis statement for freedom of speech

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Freedom of Speech

By: History.com Editors

Updated: July 27, 2023 | Original: December 4, 2017

A demonstration against restrictions on the sale of alcohol in the united states of America.Illustration showing a demonstration against restrictions on the sale of alcohol in the united states of America 1875. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Freedom of speech—the right to express opinions without government restraint—is a democratic ideal that dates back to ancient Greece. In the United States, the First Amendment guarantees free speech, though the United States, like all modern democracies, places limits on this freedom. In a series of landmark cases, the U.S. Supreme Court over the years has helped to define what types of speech are—and aren’t—protected under U.S. law.

The ancient Greeks pioneered free speech as a democratic principle. The ancient Greek word “parrhesia” means “free speech,” or “to speak candidly.” The term first appeared in Greek literature around the end of the fifth century B.C.

During the classical period, parrhesia became a fundamental part of the democracy of Athens. Leaders, philosophers, playwrights and everyday Athenians were free to openly discuss politics and religion and to criticize the government in some settings.

First Amendment

In the United States, the First Amendment protects freedom of speech.

The First Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution . The Bill of Rights provides constitutional protection for certain individual liberties, including freedoms of speech, assembly and worship.

The First Amendment doesn’t specify what exactly is meant by freedom of speech. Defining what types of speech should and shouldn’t be protected by law has fallen largely to the courts.

In general, the First Amendment guarantees the right to express ideas and information. On a basic level, it means that people can express an opinion (even an unpopular or unsavory one) without fear of government censorship.

It protects all forms of communication, from speeches to art and other media.

Flag Burning

While freedom of speech pertains mostly to the spoken or written word, it also protects some forms of symbolic speech. Symbolic speech is an action that expresses an idea.

Flag burning is an example of symbolic speech that is protected under the First Amendment. Gregory Lee Johnson, a youth communist, burned a flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas to protest the Reagan administration.

The U.S. Supreme Court , in 1990, reversed a Texas court’s conviction that Johnson broke the law by desecrating the flag. Texas v. Johnson invalidated statutes in Texas and 47 other states prohibiting flag burning.

When Isn’t Speech Protected?

Not all speech is protected under the First Amendment.

Forms of speech that aren’t protected include:

  • Obscene material such as child pornography
  • Plagiarism of copyrighted material
  • Defamation (libel and slander)
  • True threats

Speech inciting illegal actions or soliciting others to commit crimes aren’t protected under the First Amendment, either.

The Supreme Court decided a series of cases in 1919 that helped to define the limitations of free speech. Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917, shortly after the United States entered into World War I . The law prohibited interference in military operations or recruitment.

Socialist Party activist Charles Schenck was arrested under the Espionage Act after he distributed fliers urging young men to dodge the draft. The Supreme Court upheld his conviction by creating the “clear and present danger” standard, explaining when the government is allowed to limit free speech. In this case, they viewed draft resistant as dangerous to national security.

American labor leader and Socialist Party activist Eugene Debs also was arrested under the Espionage Act after giving a speech in 1918 encouraging others not to join the military. Debs argued that he was exercising his right to free speech and that the Espionage Act of 1917 was unconstitutional. In Debs v. United States the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Espionage Act.

Freedom of Expression

The Supreme Court has interpreted artistic freedom broadly as a form of free speech.

In most cases, freedom of expression may be restricted only if it will cause direct and imminent harm. Shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater and causing a stampede would be an example of direct and imminent harm.

In deciding cases involving artistic freedom of expression the Supreme Court leans on a principle called “content neutrality.” Content neutrality means the government can’t censor or restrict expression just because some segment of the population finds the content offensive.

Free Speech in Schools

In 1965, students at a public high school in Des Moines, Iowa , organized a silent protest against the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to protest the fighting. The students were suspended from school. The principal argued that the armbands were a distraction and could possibly lead to danger for the students.

The Supreme Court didn’t bite—they ruled in favor of the students’ right to wear the armbands as a form of free speech in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District . The case set the standard for free speech in schools. However, First Amendment rights typically don’t apply in private schools.

What does free speech mean?; United States Courts . Tinker v. Des Moines; United States Courts . Freedom of expression in the arts and entertainment; ACLU .

a thesis statement for freedom of speech

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Freedom of Speech in Social Media Essay

  • To find inspiration for your paper and overcome writer’s block
  • As a source of information (ensure proper referencing)
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What are the advantages, disadvantages, and limits of freedom of speech in social media? Learn more below! This paper focuses on the importance of social media and freedom of speech.

Introduction

Social media & freedom of speech, hate speech on social media, reference list.

The freedom of speech is one of the crucial features of the democratic society. The personal liberty cannot be achieved without the ability to express your thoughts freely. It also means the opportunity to participate in the discussions and debates. George Orwell said, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”.

The media is a powerful mean of social progress nowadays. It is said that social media’s worldwide audience gives individuals new rights, responsibilities, and risks. Joshua Rozenberg claimed, “A tweet is not an email, it’s a broadcast”. The aim of this essay is to present my own opinion on the expressions by Orwell and Rozenberg and to discuss the influence of media on the human rights, responsibilities, and risks.

The social media represents the source and the mean of the information dissemination. It is difficult to imagine what the world would look like if we did not have the media. The dissemination of the true information is one of the pillars of the free society.

Nowadays, the breakthrough in this process has been achieved due to the development and implementation of the new media and information and communications technologies (ICTs) ( IMS Conference on ICTs, 2008). I agree with the statement of George Orwell, who said that the liberty “means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”.

It goes without saying that all people are different and, thus, their views on the changes occurring in the surrounding world differ. However, the social progress cannot be achieved without the conflict solving and decision making. The availability of the different opinions contributes to the arriving at the best solution. The freedom of speech implies the opportunity of the unhampered expression of the opposite views.

How can we say about the liberty and personal freedom if we are afraid of protesting and arguing? The truly democratic society is the one, which encourages the independent thinking and the expression of the opposite views.

Katharine Gelber in her article ‘Freedom of Speech and Australian Political Culture’ considers the opinions of the Australian politicians, representing both the Coalition and Opposition in the beginning of the 1990s. Gelber tries to say that the history of the freedom of speech in Australia consists of the periods of the increasing public debates on the issue of human rights and their protection.

In 1992, the wide discussions contributed to the recognition of the freedom of speech in Australia (Gelber, 2011). Although the representatives of the various political parties have different views on the concept of freedom of speech, all of them indicate to its importance for the society.

Gelber says that the majority of Australians believe that the freedom of speech exists in the Australian society (Gelber, 2011). Undoubtedly, it shows that people feel their liberty in saying what the others do not want to hear.

There is a famous expression by Joshua Rozenberg, “A tweet is not an email, it’s a broadcast”. I think that he means that if the conversation includes more than two persons, it is public and it disseminates the information rapidly. In the context of the human rights, it can be said that the ‘tweet’ or wide discussions are vital for the dissemination of the information and contribute to the freedom of speech.

I agree with the statement that the social media’s worldwide audience gives individuals new rights, responsibilities, and risks. In this respect, censorship remains one of the most significant hazards. However paradoxical it looks at the first glance, the United States of America represents the bright example of the country with the freedom of speech, on the one hand, and the cases of censorship, on the other hand.

Patrick Garry in his book An American Paradox: Censorship in a Nation of Free Speech analyses the reasons for the existence of censorship in the country proclaiming the freedom of speech as one of the highest values. Garry finds the roots for this problem in the rapid dynamism of the American society.

The author also states that “as multiculturalism replaces the older, more traditional social model of Americanized homogeneity, speech and censorship will increasingly form the ethnic and cultural battleground of this change” (Garry, 1993, p. 14).

Undoubtedly, the freedom of speech is one of the most discrepant social and political issues. People’s words depend on their minds and their emotions. However, they are not always the positive ones and sometimes people are driven by hate. The history of mankind already has a lot of examples when the speech provoked the violence. The Nazi Germany is one of such examples.

The emotional speech of Adolph Hitler inspired millions of people to commit the crime against humanity. That is why it should be emphasized that the freedom of speech assumes the responsibility. It is said that “our most successful approach to defending our human rights and human dignity is to begin with the principle: Choose Love, Not Hate” ( Freedom of expression, no date).

Besides, it should be mentioned that the freedom of speech should not contradict the other human rights, including the intellectual property rights, the right to reputation, and others. The government intervention in the dissemination of the information should not go beyond the boundaries of the protection of the confidential information, reputation, public safety and order ( Freedom of expression, no date).

The debates provoked by the promulgation of the secret information by WikiLeaks shook the public. Although there were different views on the activity of the website, it is obvious that it made the confidential information public, thus, violating the right to privacy and supporting the freedom of speech.

According to Little, “there is a difference between disclosure of information relating to private lives of individuals and that relating to governments” (2013, par. 6). The European authorities support the freedom of speech but indicate to the importance of licensing of broadcasting and the verification of the information disseminated by the media ( Freedom of expression, 2007).

Connie Bennett and Rob Everett emphasize the importance of tolerance and understanding in the protection of the freedom of speech. At the same time, the authors state, “Free and open access to the universe of ideas not only enriches the lives of a country’s citizens; it protects them from the harm caused when ignorance and misinformation go unchallenged by facts” (Bennett and Everett, 2011, n.pag.).

The rapid development of the information technologies and the digital communication systems create the risks of inconsistent and false data dissemination as the role of the journalists and editors becomes vanished by the work of computers and Internet. At the same time, the modern technologies may help to overcome the bias in the information disseminated by the media.

There are a number of the social organizations aimed at protecting the freedom of speech and the activity of the journalists all over the world. In particular, Freedom House provides the support to the advocates of the human rights to defend the free media and the right to independent expression ( Freedom of expression, no date).

In order to sum up all above mentioned, it should be said that the freedom of speech is one of the main human rights. However, it remains one of the controversial social issues as well. The freedom of expression implies certain responsibilities including the respect to the privacy of other people as well as to the results of their intellectual activity.

The development of the information technologies changes the media and the communication systems. The new tendency creates both the opportunities for the facilitation of the freedom of speech and risks of the dissemination of the false information.

Annotated Bibliography

Bennett, C. and Everett, R. (2011) ‘Freedom of speech requires understanding and tolerance’, The Register Guard .

The authors touch upon the problem of the freedom of speech and the government restrictions. In particular, they emphasize the importance of the free libraries providing the opportunity to become familiar with the different opinions presented in the books.

Garry, P. (1993) An American paradox: censorship in a nation of free speech. Westport, CT: Praeger .

The book uncovers the paradox of the American society: the co-existence of the freedom of speech flourished by the public and the censorship, which restricts it. The author gives his own arguments explaining this phenomenon. In particular, he indicates to the significant changes occurring in the American society.

Gelber, K. (2011) ‘Freedom of speech and Australian political Culture’, University of Queensland Law Journal , 30(1), pp. 135-144.

The article is devoted to the recognition of the freedom of speech in Australia. It also encompasses the results of the survey aimed at investigation of the opinion of the Australians on their constitutional rights including the freedom of expression. The author presents the definitions of the freedom of speech given by the Australian politicians.

Freedom of expression.

The webpage is devoted to the freedom of expression as one of the basic human rights and describes the activity of Freedom House in its protection. The major branches of the organization’s support are mentioned on the webpage. Besides, it emphasizes the role of journalists and media in the realization of the freedom of speech.

IMS Conference on ICTs and networked communications environments: opportunities and threats for press freedom and democratization (2008).

The information presented in the source is devoted to the role of the information and communication technologies in the spreading of the freedom of speech and the facilitation of the democratic process in the different countries. It represents the report on the results of the IMS Conference. The advances in the technology and their impact on the media are discussed in the source.

Little, C. (2013) ‘Democracy depends upon free media and an informed public’, Miami Herald , 16 September.

The author of the article touches upon the controversy around the freedom of speech. She presents her own opinion on the collision of the human rights, which frequently occurs in the society. She also touches upon the activity of the much-talked-of website WikiLeaks.

Garry, P. (1993) An American paradox: censorship in a nation of free speech . Westport, CT: Praeger.

Freedom of expression (no date). Web.

Freedom of expression: a right with responsibilities (2007). Web.

IMS Conference on ICTs and networked communications environments: opportunities and threats for press freedom and democratization (2008). Web.

Little, C. (2013) ‘ Democracy depends upon free media and an informed public ‘, Miami Herald . Web.

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Bibliography

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Examples

Speech Thesis Statement

Speech thesis statement generator.

a thesis statement for freedom of speech

In the realm of effective communication, crafting a well-structured and compelling speech thesis statement is paramount. A speech thesis serves as the bedrock upon which impactful oratory is built, encapsulating the core message, purpose, and direction of the discourse. This exploration delves into diverse speech thesis statement examples, offering insights into the art of formulating them. Moreover, it provides valuable tips to guide you in crafting speeches that resonate powerfully with your audience and leave a lasting impact.

What is a Speech Thesis Statement? – Definition

A speech thesis statement is a succinct and focused declaration that encapsulates the central argument, purpose, or message of a speech. It outlines the primary idea the speaker intends to convey to the audience, serving as a guide for the content and structure of the speech.

What is an Example of Speech Thesis Statement?

“In this speech, I will argue that implementing stricter gun control measures is essential for reducing gun-related violence and ensuring public safety. By examining statistical data, addressing common misconceptions, and advocating for comprehensive background checks, we can take meaningful steps toward a safer society.”

In this example, the speech’s main argument, key points (statistics, misconceptions, background checks), and the intended impact (safer society) are all succinctly conveyed in the thesis statement.

100 Speech Thesis Statement Examples

  • “Today, I will convince you that renewable energy sources are the key to a sustainable and cleaner future.”
  • “In this speech, I will explore the importance of mental health awareness and advocate for breaking the stigma surrounding it.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that adopting a plant-based diet contributes not only to personal health but also to environmental preservation.”
  • “In this speech, I will discuss the benefits of exercise on cognitive function and share practical tips for integrating physical activity into our daily routines.”
  • “Today, I’ll argue that access to quality education is a fundamental right for all, and I’ll present strategies to bridge the educational gap.”
  • “My speech centers around the significance of arts education in fostering creativity, critical thinking, and overall cognitive development in students.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll shed light on the impact of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems and inspire actionable steps toward plastic reduction.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that stricter regulations on social media platforms are imperative to combat misinformation and protect user privacy.”
  • “Today, I’ll discuss the importance of empathy in building strong interpersonal relationships and provide techniques to cultivate empathy in daily interactions.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll present the case for implementing universal healthcare, emphasizing its benefits for both individual health and societal well-being.”
  • “My speech highlights the urgency of addressing climate change and calls for international collaboration in reducing carbon emissions.”
  • “I will argue that the arts play a crucial role in fostering cultural understanding, breaking down stereotypes, and promoting global harmony.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll advocate for the preservation of endangered species and offer strategies to contribute to wildlife conservation efforts.”
  • “Today, I’ll discuss the power of effective time management in enhancing productivity and share practical techniques to prioritize tasks.”
  • “My aim is to convince you that raising the minimum wage is vital to reducing income inequality and improving the overall quality of life.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll explore the societal implications of automation and artificial intelligence and propose strategies for a smooth transition into the future.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll emphasize the significance of volunteering in community development and suggest ways to get involved in meaningful initiatives.”
  • “I will argue that stricter regulations on fast food advertising are necessary to address the growing obesity epidemic among children and adolescents.”
  • “Today, I’ll discuss the importance of financial literacy in personal empowerment and provide practical advice for making informed financial decisions.”
  • “My speech focuses on the value of cultural diversity in enriching society, fostering understanding, and promoting a more inclusive world.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll present the case for investing in renewable energy technologies to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on future generations.”
  • “I will argue that embracing failure as a stepping stone to success is crucial for personal growth and achieving one’s fullest potential.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll examine the impact of social media on mental health and offer strategies to maintain a healthy online presence.”
  • “Today, I’ll emphasize the importance of effective communication skills in professional success and share tips for honing these skills.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that stricter gun control measures are essential to reduce gun-related violence and ensure public safety.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the significance of cultural preservation and the role of heritage sites in maintaining the identity and history of communities.”
  • “I will argue that promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace leads to enhanced creativity, collaboration, and overall organizational success.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll explore the impact of social media on political engagement and discuss ways to critically evaluate online information sources.”
  • “Today, I’ll present the case for investing in public transportation infrastructure to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce pollution, and enhance urban mobility.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that implementing mindfulness practices in schools can improve students’ focus, emotional well-being, and overall academic performance.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the importance of supporting local businesses for economic growth, community vibrancy, and sustainable development.”
  • “I will argue that fostering emotional intelligence in children equips them with crucial skills for interpersonal relationships, empathy, and conflict resolution.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll emphasize the need for comprehensive sex education that addresses consent, healthy relationships, and informed decision-making.”
  • “Today, I’ll explore the benefits of embracing a minimalist lifestyle for mental clarity, reduced stress, and a more mindful and sustainable way of living.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that sustainable farming practices are essential for preserving ecosystems, ensuring food security, and mitigating climate change.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the importance of civic engagement in democracy and provide strategies for individuals to get involved in their communities.”
  • “I will argue that investing in early childhood education not only benefits individual children but also contributes to a stronger and more prosperous society.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll examine the impact of social media on body image dissatisfaction and offer strategies to promote body positivity and self-acceptance.”
  • “Today, I’ll present the case for stricter regulations on e-cigarette marketing and sales to curb youth vaping and protect public health.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that exploring nature and spending time outdoors is essential for mental and physical well-being in our technology-driven world.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the implications of automation on employment and suggest strategies for reskilling and preparing for the future of work.”
  • “I will argue that embracing failure as a valuable learning experience fosters resilience, innovation, and personal growth, leading to ultimate success.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll emphasize the significance of media literacy in discerning credible information from fake news and ensuring informed decision-making.”
  • “Today, I’ll explore the benefits of implementing universal healthcare, focusing on improved access to medical services and enhanced public health outcomes.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that embracing sustainable travel practices can minimize the environmental impact of tourism and promote cultural exchange.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll present the case for criminal justice reform, highlighting the importance of alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders.”
  • “I will argue that instilling a growth mindset in students enhances their motivation, learning abilities, and willingness to face challenges.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll discuss the implications of artificial intelligence on the job market and propose strategies for adapting to automation-driven changes.”
  • “Today, I’ll emphasize the importance of digital privacy awareness and provide practical tips to safeguard personal information online.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that investing in renewable energy sources is crucial not only for environmental sustainability but also for economic growth.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the significance of cultural preservation and the role of heritage sites in maintaining a sense of identity and history.”
  • “I will argue that promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace leads to improved creativity, collaboration, and overall organizational performance.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll explore the impact of social media on political engagement and offer strategies to critically assess online information.”
  • “Today, I’ll present the case for investing in public transportation to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce emissions, and enhance urban mobility.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that implementing mindfulness practices in schools can enhance students’ focus, emotional well-being, and academic achievement.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the importance of supporting local businesses for economic growth, community vitality, and sustainable development.”
  • “I will argue that fostering emotional intelligence in children equips them with essential skills for healthy relationships, empathy, and conflict resolution.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll emphasize the need for comprehensive sex education that includes consent, healthy relationships, and informed decision-making.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that sustainable farming practices are vital for preserving ecosystems, ensuring food security, and combating climate change.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the importance of civic engagement in democracy and provide strategies for individuals to actively participate in their communities.”
  • “I will argue that investing in early childhood education benefits not only individual children but also contributes to a stronger and more prosperous society.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll examine the impact of social media on body image dissatisfaction and suggest strategies to promote body positivity and self-acceptance.”
  • “Today, I’ll present the case for stricter regulations on e-cigarette marketing and sales to combat youth vaping and protect public health.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that connecting with nature and spending time outdoors is essential for mental and physical well-being in our technology-driven world.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the implications of automation on employment and suggest strategies for reskilling and adapting to the changing job landscape.”
  • “I will argue that embracing failure as a valuable learning experience fosters resilience, innovation, and personal growth, ultimately leading to success.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll emphasize the significance of media literacy in discerning credible information from fake news and making informed decisions.”
  • “Today, I’ll explore the benefits of implementing universal healthcare, focusing on improved access to medical services and better public health outcomes.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that adopting sustainable travel practices can minimize the environmental impact of tourism and promote cultural exchange.”
  • “I will argue that instilling a growth mindset in students enhances their motivation, learning abilities, and readiness to tackle challenges.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll discuss the implications of artificial intelligence on the job market and propose strategies for adapting to the changing landscape.”
  • “Today, I’ll emphasize the importance of digital privacy awareness and provide practical tips to safeguard personal information in the online world.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that investing in renewable energy sources is essential for both environmental sustainability and economic growth.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the transformative power of art therapy in promoting mental well-being and share real-life success stories.”
  • “I will argue that promoting gender equality not only empowers women but also contributes to economic growth and social progress.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll explore the impact of technology on interpersonal relationships and offer strategies to maintain meaningful connections.”
  • “Today, I’ll present the case for sustainable fashion choices, emphasizing their positive effects on the environment and ethical manufacturing practices.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that investing in early childhood education is an investment in the future, leading to a more educated and equitable society.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the significance of community service in building strong communities and share personal stories of volunteering experiences.”
  • “I will argue that fostering emotional intelligence in children lays the foundation for a harmonious and empathetic society.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll emphasize the importance of teaching critical thinking skills in education and how they empower individuals to navigate a complex world.”
  • “Today, I’ll explore the benefits of embracing a growth mindset in personal and professional development, leading to continuous learning and improvement.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that conscious consumerism can drive positive change in industries by supporting ethical practices and environmentally friendly products.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll present the case for renewable energy as a solution to energy security, reduced carbon emissions, and a cleaner environment.”
  • “I will argue that investing in mental health support systems is essential for the well-being of individuals and society as a whole.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll discuss the role of music therapy in enhancing mental health and promoting emotional expression and healing.”
  • “Today, I’ll emphasize the importance of embracing cultural diversity to foster global understanding, harmony, and peaceful coexistence.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that incorporating mindfulness practices into daily routines can lead to reduced stress and increased overall well-being.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the implications of genetic engineering and gene editing technologies on ethical considerations and future generations.”
  • “I will argue that investing in renewable energy infrastructure not only mitigates climate change but also generates job opportunities and economic growth.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll explore the impact of social media on political polarization and offer strategies for promoting constructive online discourse.”
  • “Today, I’ll present the case for embracing experiential learning in education, focusing on hands-on experiences that enhance comprehension and retention.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that practicing gratitude can lead to improved mental health, increased happiness, and a more positive outlook on life.”
  • “In this speech, I’ll discuss the importance of teaching financial literacy in schools to equip students with essential money management skills.”
  • “I will argue that promoting sustainable agriculture practices is essential to ensure food security, protect ecosystems, and combat climate change.”
  • “Through this speech, I’ll emphasize the need for greater awareness of mental health issues in society and the importance of reducing stigma.”
  • “Today, I’ll explore the benefits of incorporating arts and creativity into STEM education to foster innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving.”
  • “My aim is to persuade you that practicing mindfulness and meditation can lead to improved focus, reduced anxiety, and enhanced overall well-being.”

Speech Thesis Statement for Introduction

Introductions set the tone for impactful speeches. These thesis statements encapsulate the essence of opening remarks, laying the foundation for engaging discourse.

  • “Welcome to an exploration of the power of storytelling and its ability to bridge cultures and foster understanding across diverse backgrounds.”
  • “In this introductory speech, we delve into the realm of artificial intelligence, examining its potential to reshape industries and redefine human capabilities.”
  • “Join us as we navigate the fascinating world of space exploration and the role of technological advancements in uncovering the mysteries of the universe.”
  • “Through this speech, we embark on a journey through history, highlighting pivotal moments that have shaped civilizations and continue to inspire change.”
  • “Today, we embark on a discussion about the significance of empathy in our interactions, exploring how it can enrich our connections and drive positive change.”
  • “In this opening address, we dive into the realm of sustainable living, exploring practical steps to reduce our environmental footprint and promote eco-consciousness.”
  • “Join us as we explore the evolution of communication, from ancient symbols to modern technology, and its impact on how we connect and convey ideas.”
  • “Welcome to an exploration of the intricate relationship between art and emotion, uncovering how artistic expression transcends language barriers and unites humanity.”
  • “In this opening statement, we examine the changing landscape of work and career, discussing strategies to navigate career transitions and embrace lifelong learning.”
  • “Today, we delve into the concept of resilience and its role in facing adversity, offering insights into how resilience can empower us to overcome challenges.”

Speech Thesis Statement for Graduation

Graduation speeches mark significant milestones. These thesis statements encapsulate the achievements, aspirations, and challenges faced by graduates as they move forward.

  • “As we stand on the threshold of a new chapter, let’s reflect on our journey, celebrate our achievements, and embrace the uncertainties that lie ahead.”
  • “In this graduation address, we celebrate not only our academic accomplishments but also the personal growth, resilience, and friendships that have enriched our years here.”
  • “As we step into the world beyond academia, let’s remember that learning is a lifelong journey, and the skills we’ve honed will propel us toward success.”
  • “Today, we bid farewell to the familiar and embrace the unknown, armed with the knowledge that every challenge we face is an opportunity for growth.”
  • “In this commencement speech, we acknowledge the collective accomplishments of our class and embrace the responsibility to contribute positively to the world.”
  • “As we graduate, let’s carry with us the values instilled by our education, applying them not only in our careers but also in shaping a more just and compassionate society.”
  • “Join me in celebrating the diversity of talents and perspectives that define our graduating class, and let’s channel our unique strengths to make a meaningful impact.”
  • “Today, we honor the culmination of our academic pursuits and embrace the journey of continuous learning that will shape our personal and professional paths.”
  • “In this graduation address, we acknowledge the support of our families, educators, and peers, recognizing that our successes are a testament to shared effort.”
  • “As we don our caps and gowns, let’s remember that our education equips us not only with knowledge but also with the power to effect positive change in the world.”

Speech Thesis Statement For Acceptance

Acceptance speeches express gratitude and acknowledge achievements. These thesis statements capture the essence of acknowledgment, appreciation, and commitment.

  • “I am humbled and honored by this recognition, and I pledge to use this platform to amplify the voices of the marginalized and work toward equity.”
  • “As I accept this award, I express my gratitude to those who believed in my potential, and I commit to using my skills to contribute meaningfully to our community.”
  • “Receiving this honor is a testament to the collaborative efforts that make achievements possible. I am dedicated to sharing this success with those who supported me.”
  • “Accepting this award, I am reminded of the responsibility that accompanies it. I vow to continue striving for excellence and inspiring those around me.”
  • “As I receive this recognition, I extend my deepest appreciation to my mentors, colleagues, and family, and I promise to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation.”
  • “Accepting this accolade, I recognize that success is a team effort. I commit to fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation in all my endeavors.”
  • “Receiving this honor, I am reminded of the privilege I have to effect change. I dedicate myself to leveraging this platform for the betterment of society.”
  • “Accepting this award, I am grateful for the opportunities that have shaped my journey. I am committed to using my influence to uplift others and drive positive change.”
  • “As I stand here, I am deeply moved by this recognition. I pledge to use this honor as a catalyst for making a meaningful impact on the lives of those I encounter.”
  • “Accepting this distinction, I embrace the responsibility it brings. I promise to uphold the values that guided me to this moment and channel my efforts toward progress.”

Speech Thesis Statement in Extemporaneous

Extemporaneous speeches require quick thinking and concise communication. These thesis statements capture the essence of on-the-spot analysis and delivery.

  • “On the topic of technological disruption, we explore its effects on job markets, emphasizing the importance of upskilling for the workforce’s evolving demands.”
  • “In this impromptu speech, we dissect the complexities of global climate agreements, assessing their impact on environmental sustainability and international cooperation.”
  • “Addressing the issue of cyberbullying, we examine its psychological consequences, potential legal remedies, and strategies to create safer online spaces.”
  • “Discussing the merits of universal basic income, we weigh its potential to alleviate poverty, stimulate economic growth, and reshape the social safety net.”
  • “As we delve into the debate on genetically modified organisms, we consider the benefits of increased crop yields, while also evaluating environmental and health concerns.”
  • “On the topic of urbanization, we analyze its benefits in fostering economic growth and cultural exchange, while addressing challenges of infrastructure and inequality.”
  • “Delving into the controversy surrounding artificial intelligence, we explore its transformative potential in various sectors, touching on ethical considerations and fears of job displacement.”
  • “In this impromptu speech, we examine the impact of social media on political discourse, highlighting the role of echo chambers and the need for critical thinking.”
  • “Addressing the issue of mental health stigma, we discuss the societal barriers that prevent seeking help, while advocating for open conversations and destigmatization.”
  • “Discussing the concept of ethical consumerism, we weigh the impact of consumer choices on industries, environment, and labor rights, emphasizing the power of informed purchasing.”

Speech Thesis Statement in Argumentative Essay

Argumentative speeches present clear stances on contentious topics. These thesis statements assert positions while indicating the direction of the ensuing debate.

  • “In this argumentative speech, we assert that mandatory voting fosters civic participation and strengthens democracy by ensuring diverse voices are heard.”
  • “Advocating for stricter gun control, we contend that regulations on firearm access are vital for public safety, reducing gun violence, and preventing tragedies.”
  • “Arguing for the benefits of school uniforms, we posit that uniforms promote a focused learning environment, reduce socioeconomic disparities, and enhance school spirit.”
  • “In this persuasive speech, we assert that capital punishment should be abolished due to its potential for wrongful executions, lack of deterrence, and ethical concerns.”
  • “Taking a stand against standardized testing, we argue that these assessments stifle creativity, promote rote learning, and fail to measure true intellectual potential.”
  • “Defending the benefits of renewable energy, we assert that transitioning to sustainable sources will mitigate climate change, create jobs, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.”
  • “Addressing the merits of open borders, we contend that welcoming immigrants bolsters cultural diversity, contributes to economic growth, and upholds humanitarian values.”
  • “In this persuasive speech, we argue against the use of animal testing, asserting that modern alternatives exist to ensure scientific progress without unnecessary suffering.”
  • “Advocating for comprehensive sex education, we assert that teaching about contraception, consent, and healthy relationships equips students to make informed choices.”
  • “Arguing for universal healthcare, we posit that accessible medical services are a basic human right, contributing to improved public health, reduced disparities, and economic stability.”

These examples offer a range of thesis statements for various types of speeches, catering to different contexts and styles of presentation. Tailor them to fit your specific needs and adjust the content as necessary to create impactful speeches.

Is There a Thesis Statement in a Speech?

Yes, a thesis statement is an essential component of a speech. Just like in written essays, a thesis statement in a speech serves as the central point or main idea that the speaker wants to convey to the audience. It provides focus, direction, and a preview of the content that will follow in the speech. A well-crafted thesis statement helps the audience understand the purpose of the speech and what they can expect to learn or gain from listening.

What is the Thesis Structure of a Speech?

The structure of a thesis statement in a speech is similar to that of a thesis statement in an essay, but it’s adapted for the spoken format. A speech thesis generally consists of:

  • Topic: Clearly state the topic or subject of your speech. This provides the context for your thesis and gives the audience an idea of the subject matter.
  • Main Idea or Argument: Present the main point you want to make or the central argument you’ll be discussing in your speech. This should be a concise and focused statement that encapsulates the essence of your message.
  • Supporting Points: Optionally, you can include a brief overview of the main supporting points or arguments that you’ll elaborate on in the body of your speech. This gives the audience an outline of what to expect.

How Do You Write a Speech Thesis Statement? – Step by Step Guide

  • Choose Your Topic: Select a topic that is relevant to your audience and aligns with the purpose of your speech.
  • Identify Your Main Message: Determine the central message or argument you want to convey. What is the key takeaway you want your audience to remember?
  • Craft a Concise Statement: Write a clear and concise sentence that captures the essence of your main message. Make sure it’s specific and avoids vague language.
  • Consider Your Audience: Tailor your thesis statement to your audience’s level of understanding and interests. Use language that resonates with them.
  • Review and Refine: Read your thesis statement aloud to ensure it sounds natural and engaging. Refine it as needed to make it compelling.

Tips for Writing a Speech Thesis Statement

  • Be Specific: A strong thesis statement is specific and focused. Avoid vague or general statements.
  • Avoid Jargon: Use language that your audience can easily understand, avoiding complex jargon or technical terms unless you explain them.
  • One Main Idea: Stick to one main idea or argument. Multiple ideas can confuse your audience.
  • Preview Supporting Points: If applicable, briefly preview the main supporting points you’ll cover in your speech.
  • Reflect the Purpose: Your thesis should reflect the purpose of your speech—whether it’s to inform, persuade, entertain, or inspire.
  • Keep It Concise: A thesis statement is not a paragraph. Keep it to a single sentence that encapsulates your message.
  • Practice Pronunciation: If your thesis statement includes challenging words or terms, practice pronouncing them clearly.
  • Test for Clarity: Ask someone to listen to your thesis statement and summarize what they understood from it. This can help you gauge its clarity.
  • Revise as Necessary: Don’t be afraid to revise your thesis statement as you refine your speech. It’s important that it accurately represents your content.
  • Capture Interest: Craft your thesis statement in a way that captures the audience’s interest and curiosity, encouraging them to listen attentively.

Remember, the thesis statement sets the tone for your entire speech. It should be well-crafted, engaging, and reflective of the main message you want to communicate to your audience.

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Freedom of speech thesis statement

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Although freedom of speech is the key to all human rights ,in fact it should not be in terms of provoking criminal activities or harming someone's reputation .

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What part of speech is thesis statement?

Thesis statement is a noun phrase, consisting of the main noun statement and the noun adjunct thesis.

What part of speech is Statement?

What is a thesis statement for freedom.

A thesis statement for freedom can include pros and cons of freedom of speech. It could be on religious freedom. It would be the one or two sentences in your paper that tells readers the focus of the paper by summarizing that main point.

What is a central idea of a speech?

The central idea of a speech is like the thesis statement.

What part of speech is the word thesis?

The word thesis is a noun. It is a statement that is supported by various arguments.

What was the thesis statement in Patrick Henry famous speech?

Give me liberty or give me death

The is where the writer explains to the reader what the essay will be about?

the introduction paragraph and mainly the thesis statement.

What two things can persuasion do for us?

The persuasive speech, however should always have a clear thesis statement.

How is a persuasive thesis statement different from an explanatory thesis?

A persuasive thesis statement contains the author's opinion on a topic, whereas an explanatory thesis statement does not.

Can a question statement be a thesis statement?

No you may not ask any questions in your thesis statement, because the thesis statement basically states your answer to whatever you are doing.

How is persuasive thesis statement different from a descriptive thesis statement?

A persuasive thesis statement argues the author's opinion on a topic; a descriptive thesis statement does not.

How do you write a thesis statement about radiology?

What is a great thesis statement about Radiology?

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In a move aimed at fostering free inquiry and the open exchange of ideas on campus, the Faculty Senate voted Thursday to approve an amended statement on freedom of expression and an amended policy on institutional statements, following a presentation on the final report of the Ad Hoc Committee on University Speech and a spirited discussion.

The two approved documents reaffirm and complement Stanford’s 1974 Statement on Academic Freedom amid contemporary challenges.

“Stanford has the opportunity to be a leader in higher education if we can come up with clear policies on some of these issues,” said Provost Jenny Martinez. “I don’t think any university has completely managed this, and I think it’s a key moment to [create] … a sort of broader set of university efforts not only to avoid things that inhibit free speech but to promote the culture of open inquiry that is part of our educational mission.”

The senate’s Steering Committee also received a joint resolution on the “State of First Amendment Protections” from the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), requesting the university to clarify its free speech policies, among other matters.

Academic freedom and speech

The Ad Hoc Committee on University Speech was created last year to assess constraints on academic freedom and speech at Stanford, share its findings, suggest improvements for academic speech protections, and strengthen the faculty’s role in these freedoms.

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a thesis statement for freedom of speech

Faculty Senate creates university speech committee

The committee engaged in extensive consultation with university community members and examined Stanford’s governing documents and processes related to speech, said Bernadette Meyler , chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on University Speech, during a presentation on the committee’s final report .

Guided by Stanford’s 1974 Statement on Academic Freedom and the 1896 Fundamental Standard , the committee identified common concerns contributing to a breakdown of trust around speech on campus: lack of clarity in speech policies; inconsistent enforcement; skepticism about when university leaders choose to weigh in on political controversies; and a chilling effect on speech even without explicit university restrictions, said Meyler, the Carl and Sheila Spaeth Professor of Law.

To address these issues, the committee recommended adopting new policies on the freedom of expression and on institutional statements, and extending the committee’s work for two more years. These steps aim to clarify the university’s speech policies, prioritize freedom of expression in decision-making by community members, and ensure consistent enforcement, Meyler said.

After amending it from a policy to a statement, the senate approved a Statement on Freedom of Expression at Stanford, which emphasizes Stanford’s longstanding commitment to free speech, as articulated in the 1974 Statement on Academic Freedom, while explaining the importance of time, place, and manner distinctions in the university’s educational mission and legal obligations:

Stanford is profoundly committed to freedom of expression, free inquiry, and the open exchange of ideas. Freedom of expression is a fundamental value for the university’s knowledge-bearing mission, alongside the inclusion of all viewpoints and the promotion of rigorous and reasoned academic debates. The freedom to explore and present new, unconventional, and even unpopular ideas is essential to the academic mission of the university; therefore, Stanford shall promote the widest possible freedom of expression, consistent with the university’s legal and moral obligations to prevent harassment and discrimination. Accordingly, university policies must not censor individuals’ speech based on the content of what is expressed, except in narrow circumstances.

At the same time, Stanford’s educational role as well as its academic and legal obligations differ across locations and contexts on campus, such as spaces open to all community members, classrooms, and dormitories. Community members also have varying privileges and responsibilities in different contexts. Likewise, legal rights and obligations pertain in different ways to community members depending on whether they are acting as students, teachers, staff, or faculty members. The principles of freedom of speech and expression will be understood in light of these variations across contexts and roles. The campus disruption policy furnishes an example of how some of these distinctions may be drawn.

The change from a policy to a statement reflects several senators’ concern that the term “policy” might imply a set of rigid guidelines, whereas “statement” was more appropriate for conveying broad principles and values. “It seems the title of the document might be incongruent with the purpose of the document as a statement on freedom of expression at Stanford,” said José Dinneny , professor of biology in the School of Humanities and Sciences.

Some senators also questioned the reference to time, place, and manner limitations, sparking lengthy discussion about specificity and precise legal language. Philip Levis , professor of computer science and of electrical engineering in the School of Engineering, argued that the policy’s second paragraph was unclear and could be interpreted in various ways, making it difficult to understand the boundaries of what is permitted under the proposed policy.

Debra Satz, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, called the desire to have everything spelled out in a formal way in such a short statement a “fool’s errand.” “This is gesturing at really important principles, and maybe they can be articulated better. … But I take this as a statement of value and principle. And as that, I think it’s fine for it to not be as precise as people are asking.”

Satz emphasized the importance of such a statement, especially now, saying, “Freedom of expression is under attack from outside the university and from inside. I think making a statement in favor [of free speech], and how its importance is really tied to our mission, it just seems to me like this is the moment to do it.”

Meyler agreed that more elaborate and specific policies around free speech will be needed and that a future committee working with a faculty leader appointed by the provost could take up this work. “We don’t have anything actually stating an affirmation of freedom of expression and a broad set of principles yet at Stanford, and so this is the first step – not a final step – toward actually doing that,” she said.

Institutional statements

The senate also approved an Institutional Statements Policy, which calls for institutional restraint in making statements and aims to prevent the establishment of institutional orthodoxy that might chill dissent. When institutional statements are made, they should align with Stanford’s core mission and values:

When speaking for the institution, Stanford University leaders and administrators should not express an opinion on political and social controversies, unless these matters directly affect the mission of the university or implicate its legal obligations. This policy draws on the rejection of institutional orthodoxy in Stanford’s 1974 Statement on Academic Freedom and aims to minimize the extent to which the university is subject to fluctuating political pressures.

​​When considering whether a measure directly affects the mission of the university, leaders and administrators should consider, among other factors, the nature of the university as a pluralistic forum in which “freedom of inquiry, thought, expression, publication, and peaceable assembly are given the fullest protection,” as well as Stanford’s Fundamental Standard.

The policy draws on Princeton’s tradition of institutional restraint and the University of Chicago’s Kalven Report. “We wanted to be clear that this isn’t actually about the university remaining neutral, but rather about the university affirming the internal values of the university as opposed to weighing in on external political and social controversy,” Meyler said.

Following lengthy discussion, the senate amended the policy to remove ambiguous language about when statements are appropriate.

The policy applies to the “Academic Organization Executive Officers of the University,” which includes leadership, vice provosts, deans, and others. Some senators wanted clarification on this group and asked why the directors of centers and institutes were not included. Richard Taylor , the Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and professor of mathematics, argued that no part of the university should take an institutional position on controversial matters.

Meyler agreed that a more defined list of who the policy applies to would be helpful and explained that the committee did not agree on whether the policy should also apply to the directors of centers and institutes, as these are often mission-driven, adding complexity.

Furthermore, people generally decide to join a center or institute because they align with its cause or mission. If a member disagrees with a center or institute’s statements, they can opt out, explained Mark Horowitz , a member of the committee. In contrast, faculty members cannot easily opt out of their department if they disagree with a statement made by a department chair.

Horowitz is the Fortinet Founders Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Yahoo! Founders Professor in the School of Engineering and professor of computer science.

Continuing the work

Clarity is still needed on many issues such as campus spaces for free speech activity, speech policies in dormitories, and freedom of expression for staff, Meyler said.

The committee also proposed integrating academic freedom and freedom of expression into campus processes through educational initiatives and consistent policy enforcement.

To better protect community members from harassment based on their speech, the committee suggested revising anti-doxxing policies, consolidating and publicizing recording policies, implementing recommendations from the earlier Faculty Senate Report on Faculty Legal Representation , and adopting the Chatham House Rule in classes, among other measures. Under the Chatham House Rule, participants can discuss class comments but cannot reveal the identity or affiliation of the speaker.

A third motion to extend the committee’s work for two more years, with a faculty leader appointed by the provost to help implement new policies and address complexities discussed in the committee’s report, will be taken up at a future meeting. The senate lost quorum to vote on the matter Thursday.

Bernadette Myler presents to the Faculty Senate.

Faculty Senate discusses university speech

From the Community | Freedom of speech is a labor issue

TAs at UC Berkeley protesting, holding signs.

Stanford is a company town. More than 5,000 graduate workers work at Stanford, and a sizable majority of us live on campus simply because we cannot afford to live anywhere else on the stipends that the University pays us. Most of Stanford’s 8,000 undergraduates also live on campus. It should come as no surprise, then, that the University’s regulations have a significant impact on our everyday lives. The campus is our workspace and living space, the locus of our communities.

It raises alarm when the University threatens to constrain our civil liberties within our primary community spaces, including, but not limited to, our ability to engage in free speech and protest. The reshaping of policy on how gathering spaces on campus can be used seems to have begun on Feb. 8, when the University provided less than 24 hours notice that they would begin enforcing a rule prohibiting protest in White Plaza after 8 p.m.  

Following the establishment of “The People’s University for Palestine” in late April, University leadership issued six “White Plaza updates, ” which detail policies surrounding protests, threatening arrests and “sanctions up to and including suspensions,” that could, in their words, cause delays in graduation.

The latest notice following the attempted occupation of a university building describes the harshest sanctions yet: “immediate suspension and the inability to participate in Commencement based on the president’s authority.” Whereas previous notices warned that those who do not hold Stanford affiliation found in violation of University policy would “be subject to criminal and/or civil liability,” the latest promises “criminal charges” for Stanford students in addition to referrals to the Office of Community Standards (OCS). 

Social media posts and a petition launched by the People’s University at Stanford describe the University making good on its litigious threats last week when Stanford Police detained a Pro-Palestine student for several hours at Santa Clara County Jail. The student was allegedly disparaged, denied access to hygiene facilities and released late at night with nowhere to go. She was disallowed to leave the county under the terms of her release and also banned from campus under the threat of immediate arrest. 

Notices and citations have primarily addressed protesting undergraduates, but they have sent a chill through the broader Stanford community. Notices, in their tone and timing, intimidate students for exercising their right to free speech and create an atmosphere of fear around peaceful demonstration. Unsurprisingly, the recent application of OCS policy to control student speech, protest and movement on campus has shaken trust in the office. 

Escalations in the application of discipline are an abuse of power. The intimidation is all the more stark when the University deploys armed police officers to enforce discipline, and when the University administrators refuse elaboration beyond “White Plaza updates” to undergraduate representatives asking for further details on discipline and the process for discipline. As outlined in our op-ed on real recourse , the University continues to protect bad actors and suppress student voices calling for accountability. It is thus not surprising that the University is more willing to punish protestors rather than engage with them in negotiation, as has been done at peer institutions like Brown and U.C. Berkeley . 

The key issue at play is University policy being unilaterally changed and unfairly applied. For graduate workers, changes in University policy are a constant concern; Stanford can change and implement new policies that can reshape our lives and livelihoods overnight, which is precisely why we need a union contract. In bargaining for a first contract, the Stanford Graduate Workers Union (SGWU) has consistently argued for progressive discipline and the assurance that academic discipline will not be applied for workplace issues. Progressive discipline means that workers cannot be disciplined without just cause, and the severity of discipline must match the severity of the offense. Therefore, graduate workers cannot be fired for minor mistakes, which is a tactic that could otherwise be used to retaliate against graduate workers engaged in protests, union organizing or other protected activities. SGWU and the University recently reached a tentative agreement on these issues (which we refer to together as Discipline and Discharge ).

The right to protest and just cause for discipline are fundamental principles that unions seek to protect. Recent arrests and suspensions of graduate workers at institutions across the United States highlight the importance of this right. In response, unions across the country have spoken out on the need to protect the rights to free speech and protest on university campuses. SGWU’s national union affiliate, United Electrical Workers (UE), announced their solidarity with campus protestors and demanded that the right to protest and free speech be respected. The SGWU Bargaining Committee recently joined University Unions United for Free Speech and Protest in a call for universities to “guarantee the right to freedom of speech, assembly and protest on campuses.” Beyond Stanford, members of UAW 4811, representing 48,000 academic workers across the UC campuses, recently authorized their executive board to launch a strike if circumstances justify “in response to UC’s unprecedented acts of intimidation and retaliation directed at our rights as academic employees to free speech, protest, protest and collective action.” For graduate workers, the ability to speak, to assemble and to protest freely within our own community are at the core of labor organization. As of now, thousands of academic workers at UC Santa Cruz, UCLA and UC Davis are actively on strike.

SWGU is fighting for a contract that protects all grad workers. The University has shown that they are willing to change rules without due notice. It has regularly failed to consider the way its policies negatively impact the lives, the work and the well-being of community members. It behooves the University to carefully consider its application of policy, especially when the tacit threat of police involvement depends on administrative decisions. As Professors David Palumbo-Liu and Mikael Wolf have observed , these “bureaucratic responses do not sufficiently recognize the reasons the students are protesting in the first place.” Indeed, Stanford could stand to learn much from the People’s University, where a community has gathered to share in discussion, to learn and to teach and to show the world the true power of organizing and protest.

As graduate workers, we stand in solidarity with our fellow students and colleagues. They must be allowed to engage in this protest and peaceful demonstration without any threat of academic, professional or financial harm. The University will undoubtedly be a better place if their tireless efforts are met with good faith engagement.

Jason Beckman is a Ph.D. candidate in East Asian language and cultures and Sophie Jean Walton is a Ph.D. candidate in biophysics. They are both members of the Stanford Graduate Workers Union Bargaining Committee.

Chloé Brault is a Ph.D. candidate in comparative literature. 

The Daily is committed to publishing a diversity of op-eds and letters to the editor. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Email letters to the editor to eic ‘at’ stanforddaily.com and op-ed submissions to opinions ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of NRA in Free Speech Case, Upholds First Amendment Rights of All Advocacy Groups

The aclu represented the nra, arguing that a government regulator’s attempts to abuse her power to coerce private entities to blacklist the nra violated the first amendment.

A photo of Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of NRA in Free Speech Case, Upholds First Amendment Rights of All Advocacy Groups

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that the National Rifle Association’s allegations that New York state officials coerced private companies to blacklist the group because of its political views stated a claim under the First Amendment, reversing a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The American Civil Liberties Union represented the NRA before the court in NRA v. Vullo , arguing that any government attempt to blacklist an advocacy group because of its viewpoint violates the First Amendment.

David Cole, the ACLU’s national legal director , who argued the case for the NRA, said: “Today’s decision confirms that government officials have no business using their regulatory authority to blacklist disfavored political groups. The New York state officials involved here, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his chief financial regulator, Maria Vullo, were clear that they sought to punish the NRA because they disagreed with its gun rights advocacy. The Supreme Court has now made crystal clear that this action is unconstitutional.”

As Justice Sotomayer’s opinion noted, “At the heart of the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause is the recognition that viewpoint discrimination is uniquely harmful to a free and democratic society. … The takeaway is that the First Amendment prohibits government officials from wielding their power selectively to punish or suppress speech.”

While the ACLU stands in stark opposition to the NRA on many issues, it represented the group to safeguard the First Amendment rights of all advocacy organizations. Across the country, organizations in the fight for racial justice, criminal legal reform, reproductive and LGBTQ rights too often face attacks by state and local government officials who disagree with their point of view. If the court had allowed New York to blacklist a powerful organization like the NRA, government officials would have had even greater power to target less powerful organizations — especially those who speak for our most vulnerable communities.

“This is a landmark victory for the NRA and all who care about our First Amendment freedom,” said William A. Brewer III, counsel to the NRA . “The opinion confirms what the NRA has known all along: New York government officials abused the power of their office to silence a political enemy. This is a victory for the NRA’s millions of members and the freedoms that define America.”

Before the case reached the Supreme Court, the NRA sued Maria Vullo, who was the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) in 2018, after she leveraged her regulatory power over banks and insurance companies to coerce them into denying basic financial services to the NRA and, in Vullo’s own words, “other gun promotion” groups. Openly claiming that she sought to penalize the NRA because she disapproved of its political advocacy, the NRA’s complaint alleged that Vullo issued formal guidance to every bank and insurance company in New York urging them to “sever ties” with the NRA, promised lenience to certain insurers if they would stop doing business with the NRA, and required the group’s three principal “affinity insurance” providers never to provide such insurance to the NRA again.

A district court ruled that the NRA’s allegations against Vullo were sufficient to claim that she violated the NRA’s First Amendment rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed this ruling, stating that Vullo’s actions constitute “government speech.” The Supreme Court has today clarified that Vullo, and any politician who may seek to duplicate her tactics, will be found in violation of the First Amendment. The ACLU represented the NRA in the Supreme Court proceeding only.

The issue of when government officials cross the line in urging retaliation against political groups they dislike is especially important because, prior to this case, there was only one Supreme Court precedent addressing such “informal” efforts to suppress First Amendment activity, Bantam Books v. Sullivan. The case is more than 60 years old and, in the past, the circuit courts have divided in applying it. This case is a critically important win for Americans’ right to free speech.

The Supreme Court opinion is available here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/23pdf/22-842_6kg7.pdf

NRA v. Vullo is a part of the ACLU’s Joan and Irwin Jacobs Supreme Court Docket .

National Rifle Association v. Vullo

On January 9th, 2024, the American Civil Liberties Union filed its opening brief on behalf of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in National Rifle Association v. Vullo , a key First Amendment case before the Supreme Court this term. The brief argues that a New York state regulator’s attempts to blacklist a nonprofit advocacy group and deny it access to financial services because of its controversial viewpoint violated the First Amendment. This is a critically important First Amendment fight: if government officials can pressure the businesses they regulate to blacklist the NRA in New York, then officials in other states can punish other advocacy organizations in the same way–including the ACLU itself.

Source: American Civil Liberties Union

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Biden says each generation has to ‘earn’ freedom, in solemn Memorial Day remarks

U.S. President Joe Biden marked Memorial Day with a pledge that the country would continue the work of the nation’s fallen toward creating a more perfect union.

President Joe Biden, left, joined by, from left, Vice President Kamala Harris, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Army Major Gen. Trevor Bradenkamp, pause during an Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden, left, joined by, from left, Vice President Kamala Harris, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Army Major Gen. Trevor Bradenkamp, pause during an Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris arrive for an Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden, left, joined by, from left, Vice President Kamala Harris, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Army Major Gen. Trevor Bradenkamp, listen to the playing of Taps during an Armed Forces Full Honors Wreath Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden delivers the Memorial Day Address at the 156th National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

a thesis statement for freedom of speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden marked Memorial Day with a pledge that the country would continue the work of the nation’s fallen toward a more perfect union, “for which they lived, and for which they died.”

Delivering remarks at a solemn remembrance ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Biden said each generation must ensure the sacrifice of the country’s service members is not in vain.

“Freedom has never been guaranteed,” Biden said under gray skies in the memorial amphitheater. “Every generation has to earn it, fight for it, defend it in the battle between autocracy and democracy, between the greed of a few, and the rights of many.”

He added: “On this day, we came together again to reflect, to remember, and above all, to recommit to the future they fought for, a future grounded in freedom, democracy, opportunity and equality. Not just for some, but for all.”

Before the ceremony began, Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

In his remarks, Biden invoked the anniversary this week of the death of his son Beau, who served in Iraq and later died from brain cancer that the president attributes to his time stationed near toxic burn pits, to highlight the importance of honoring the service of those who came home with injuries, in addition to the dead.

FILE - Cashiers process purchases at a Walmart Supercenter in North Bergen, N.J., on Feb. 9, 2023. Retailers, including Walmart and Target, are stepping up discounting heading into the summer of 2024, as they hope to offer frustrated shoppers some relief from higher prices and entice them to open their wallets.(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, File)

“Last year, the VA delivered more benefits and processed more claims than ever in our history,” Biden said, crediting the PACT Act which grants automatic coverage for certain health conditions suffered by veterans by presuming they result from their military service. “For too long after fighting for our nation, these veterans had to fight to get the right health care, to get the benefits they had earned, not anymore.”

Biden began the day hosting a breakfast at the White House for administration officials, military leaders, veterans, and Gold Star family members.

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A Proclamation on Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day,   2024

     This Memorial Day, we honor the brave women and men who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation’s freedom.  We recommit to keeping our sacred obligation to their survivors, families, and caregivers.  Together, we vow to honor their memories by carrying on their work to forge a more perfect Union.

     Since our Nation’s founding, members of our Armed Forces have been willing to lay down their lives — not for a person or a place but for an idea unlike any other in human history:  the idea of the United States of America.  We are the only Nation in the world founded on the idea that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout our entire lives.  Generations of America’s beloved daughters and sons have dared all, risked all, and given all for this idea.  Today, as they lie in eternal peace, we continue to live by the light of liberty they kept burning bright.

     To all those grieving the loss of a loved one who wore the uniform, including our Gold Star Families, and to all those who have a loved one still missing or unaccounted for:  Our country sees you and mourns with you.  I know how painful this day can be — how it can bring you back to the day you lost a piece of your soul.  It is overwhelming.  No words can ease that grief.  But I hope you find a small measure of solace in knowing that we will never forget the price your loved one paid for our freedom — and we will never stop trying to repay the debt of gratitude we owe you and them.

     That is our vow today — and that is our vow always.  May God bless our fallen heroes.  May God bring comfort to their families.  May God protect our troops.

     In honor and recognition of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested that the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer and reflection.  The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 27, 2024, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer and reflection.  I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.  I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

     I request the Governors of the United States and its Commonwealths and Territories, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control.  I encourage families, friends, and neighbors to post tributes to our fallen service members through the Veterans Legacy Memorial at vlm.cem.va.gov so that we may learn more about the lives and contributions of those buried in National, State, and Tribal veteran cemeteries.  I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.                                    JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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    The document discusses the challenges of writing a thesis statement on the topic of freedom of speech. It notes that freedom of speech is a complex issue that involves legal, ethical and philosophical dimensions. Developing a thesis statement that adequately addresses these complexities while remaining focused requires careful research and analysis. Engaging with controversial issues ...

  7. Freedom of speech: lesson overview (article)

    Freedom of speech: lesson overview. A high-level overview of what constitutes free speech, as well as the restrictions on free speech permitted by the Supreme Court. Freedom of expression is one of the most fundamental individual liberties protected by the Bill of Rights, as democracy depends upon the free exchange of ideas.

  8. Crafting a Thesis Statement

    Crafting a Thesis Statement. A thesis statement is a short, declarative sentence that states the purpose, intent, or main idea of a speech. A strong, clear thesis statement is very valuable within an introduction because it lays out the basic goal of the entire speech. We strongly believe that it is worthwhile to invest some time in framing and ...

  9. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Placement of the thesis statement. Step 1: Start with a question. Step 2: Write your initial answer. Step 3: Develop your answer. Step 4: Refine your thesis statement. Types of thesis statements. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

  10. On Thesis Statements

    Bad Thesis 1. : Americans today are not prepared to give up on the concept of free speech. Bad Thesis 2: Hate speech can cause emotional pain and suffering in victims just as intense as physical battery. Better Thesis 1: Whether or not the cultural concept of free speech bears any relation to the reality of 1st amendment legislation and ...

  11. Purpose and Thesis

    The General and Specific Purpose Statements are writing tools in the sense that they help you, as a speechwriter, clarify your ideas. Creating a Thesis Statement. Once you are clear about your general purpose and specific purpose, you can turn your attention to crafting a thesis statement. A thesis is the central idea in an essay or a speech.

  12. Freedom of Speech

    Freedom of speech—the right to express opinions without government restraint—is a democratic ideal that dates back to ancient Greece. In the United States, the First Amendment guarantees free ...

  13. Thesis Statement for Speech

    A thesis statement for a speech is a statement of one sentence that summarizes the overall points of the speech. The first step in writing a thesis statement should be to determine the specific ...

  14. Freedom of Speech in Social Media Essay Example

    Introduction. The freedom of speech is one of the crucial features of the democratic society. The personal liberty cannot be achieved without the ability to express your thoughts freely. It also means the opportunity to participate in the discussions and debates. George Orwell said, "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to ...

  15. PDF Freedom of Speech and Media

    The combination of freedom of speech with freedom of the press is important for the health of the information ecosystem. Both forms of expression provide opportunities for dissent from the mainstream opinion which is a critical check on hegemonic power. Freedom of speech and press are mutually reinforcing, relying on

  16. Speech Thesis Statement

    100 Speech Thesis Statement Examples. "Today, I will convince you that renewable energy sources are the key to a sustainable and cleaner future.". "In this speech, I will explore the importance of mental health awareness and advocate for breaking the stigma surrounding it.". "My aim is to persuade you that adopting a plant-based diet ...

  17. PDF WHY DOES FREEDOM OF SPEECH MATTER? By; JeanPaul Manikuze, 23

    on freedom of expression. They need advocacy and special protection of human rights including freedom of expression and other rights of refugees. As a conclusion; barriers to free expression show why exercising our right to freedom of expression is not as simple as living in a democratic society that broadly respects rights.

  18. Freedom of speech in the United States

    England. During colonial times, English speech regulations were rather restrictive.The English criminal common law of seditious libel made criticizing the government a crime. Lord Chief Justice John Holt, writing in 1704-1705, explained the rationale for the prohibition: "For it is very necessary for all governments that the people should have a good opinion of it."

  19. Freedom of speech thesis statement?

    A thesis statement for freedom can include pros and cons of freedom of speech. It could be on religious freedom. It would be the one or two sentences in your paper that tells readers the focus of ...

  20. Full article: Protecting the human right to freedom of expression in

    Free speech is a necessary precondition to the enjoyment of other rights, such as the right to vote, free assembly and freedom of association, and is essential to ensure press freedom. However, there is a clear and worrying global trend, including in western democracies, of governments limiting vibrant discussion and debate within civil society ...

  21. University of South Florida Digital Commons @ University of South Florida

    freedom of expression with regard to hate speech, and more specifically, whether tolerance should be exercised toward speech even in circumstances where this speech presents a clear and present danger to the public. The author will use legal research methods to analyze this question. The paper will delve into four major Supreme Court

  22. < Justice > and < Open Debate >: An Ideographic Analysis of < Freedom

    1). "A Letter" uses <open debate> (and its regulative ideographs, <democracy> and <tolerance>) to create balance between <justice> and <freedom of speech>. <Democracy> and <tolerance>. shift the weight of meaning toward acceptance of many ideas and people and forgiveness for. what they call "clumsy mistakes" (para. 2).

  23. Faculty Senate approves free speech motions

    After amending it from a policy to a statement, the senate approved a Statement on Freedom of Expression at Stanford, which emphasizes Stanford's longstanding commitment to free speech, as ...

  24. From the Community

    For graduate workers, the ability to speak, to assemble and to protest freely within our own community are at the core of labor organization. As of now, thousands of academic workers at UC Santa ...

  25. Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of NRA in Free Speech Case

    On January 9th, 2024, the American Civil Liberties Union filed its opening brief on behalf of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in National Rifle Association v.Vullo, a key First Amendment case before the Supreme Court this term.The brief argues that a New York state regulator's attempts to blacklist a nonprofit advocacy group and deny it access to financial services because of its ...

  26. The Australian government has urged China to allow for the freedom of

    The Australian government has urged China to allow for the freedom of expression, on the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen square massacre just days...

  27. Free speech, freedom of religion and campus protests

    Although students in public colleges have the right to exercise their First Amendment rights, the Supreme Court has identified several categories of expression as unprotected speech that it deems ...

  28. Biden says each generation has to 'earn' freedom, in solemn Memorial

    Delivering remarks at a solemn remembrance ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Biden said each generation must ensure the sacrifice of the country's service members is not in vain. "Freedom has never been guaranteed," Biden said under gray skies in the memorial amphitheater. "Every generation has to earn it, fight for it, defend it ...

  29. A Proclamation on Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2024

    The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance. NOW ...

  30. Harvard to refrain from statements on political issues

    Harvard University will refrain from making statements on public policy issues not directly related to institutional functions, interim president Alan M. Garber announced Tuesday in a campus-wide email. Garber noted the decision grew out of recommendations by the Institutional Voice Working Group established in April "to consider whether and when our institution should issue official ...