Communication And Culture | HONORS PUBLIC SPEAKING
C130 | 1139 | Andrews


Professor James Andrews

A fundamental assumption of this course is that the aim of a
liberal education is to prepare students to engage in civic, professional,
intellectual, and commercial pursuits ethically and effectively. Doing so
requires the ability to communicate significant ideas to audiences as well
as to evaluate ideas that are presented by others-- to be, in other words,
a proficient, capable producer and consumer of communication. Accordingly,
C130 focuses on understanding and adapting to the needs of audiences, the
critical analysis of ideas, carrying out research and gathering and
evaluating evidence, organizing material, and clearly presenting ideas
orally.

The central activity of the class will be the preparation and
presentation of speeches. Students will give speeches designed to gain
audience understanding (informative speeches) and speeches designed to
reinforce community vales, gain agreement with controversial ideas, and
induce action (persuasive speeches). Each student will select a theme that
will connect these speeches. The theme should be related to some
significant social and/or political issue in contemporary society.
Choosing a theme will give the student the opportunity to explore an
important topic in some depth, conducting research that enlarges his/her
knowledge of the subject. Following are some examples of possible themes:

Education in the Twenty-first Century
The Problem of Poverty
The Future of the Environment
The Aids Epidemic
Providing Health Care in America
The Uses and Abuses of Technology
Changing American Values
Making Government Work

The basic requirements of students in the class are to:
attend every class meeting; complete assignments by the date due
and participate in class discussions, take a written examination
based on readings in the text and class lectures/discussions, give
four speeches in class on the day assigned, conforming to the
requirements for each speech, and serve as Chair for one round of
speeches. Although it is important to study the text as assigned,
much of the reading in the course will be devoted to research
related to speech topics.

In addition to written evaluations, students will consult
individually with the instructor on a regular basis. Most speeches
will be videotaped so that students can engage in self evaluation
and also review their performance in meetings with the instructor.
Grades are based on the speeches (80%), the examination (15%), and
in-class participation (5%)