Dual Credit Speech Syllabus 2013

Fundamentals of Public Speaking
SPCH 151 – Section 20V – Fall 2013
MTWTHF, 3rd hour
Dual Credit through SWIC & SHS
Credit hours: 3 – Lecture hours: 5

 Instructor: Ms. L. Borger
Phone: (618) 443-4341, ext. 152
Email: lborger@sparta.k12.il.us
Office Hours: M-F 2:45-3:30 & by appointment
Course Website: mamaborg.wordpress.com

“If you are used to whipping off papers the night before they’re due, running them quickly through the computer’s Spellchecker, handing them in full of high-school errors and sentences that make no sense and having the professor accept them ‘because the ideas are good’ or something, please be informed that I draw no distinction between the quality of one’s ideas and the quality of those ideas’ verbal expression, and I will not accept sloppy, rough-draftish, or semiliterate college writing. Again, I am absolutely not kidding….[This] is not just a Find-Out-What-The-Teacher-Thinks-And-Regurgitate-It-Back-at-[Herm] course.[1]  It’s not like math or physics—there are no right or wrong answers (though there are interesting versus dull, fertile versus barren, plausible versus whacko answers).”[2]


Prerequisite: Reading assessment score at ENG 92 level and writing score at ENG 96 level or completion of ENG 91 and ENG 95.


This course covers the basic principles of public speaking, including selecting a subject, determining the specific purpose of the speech, collecting materials, adapting the speech to a particular audience, organizing the speech, wording the speech, using visual materials, and delivering the speech.  Each student prepares and delivers informative and persuasive speeches.


It is expected that, by the end of the course, each student will have made much progress toward:

  1. Selecting and developing a speech topic with particular listeners in mind.
  2. Organizing ideas in a purposeful, cohesive sequence.
  3. Demonstrating accurate, clear and expressive use of voice, nonverbal communication, and language.
  4. Developing listening skills in comprehension and critical evaluation.
  5. Motivating an audience by relating to the audience’s attitudes and levels of understanding.
  6. Formulating and presenting convincing arguments for an idea through reasoning and research.


Text: O’Hair, Dan, Hannah Rubenstein, and Rob Stewart.  A Pocket Guide to Public Speaking. 3rd Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.

Materials: These are mandatory for success in this course.

  • An email address you check regularly. Professors are not your friends: do not ask them to text you assignments.
  • A way to store, save, and retrieve your coursework electronically – USB storage device, cloud, email, Google Docs, etc.
  • A blue/black ink pen. Work submitted in pencil will not be graded.


Methods of Presentation: Lecture, small group work, video, film, multimedia, readings, and student projects.

Topical Outline: Types of presentations expected in SPCH 151.

  1. A speech of introduction (2-3 minutes), in which the student introduces hermself or introduces a fellow-student to the audience.  Format is left to the instructor
  2. A personal experience speech (4-6 minutes), in which a student uses herm own experience as a source of reference.
  3. An informative speech (6-8 minutes), in which the general purpose of the speech is to impart to the audience information that the audience may find useful, interesting, or entertaining.
  4. A persuasive or argumentative speech (8-10 minutes), in which the general purpose of the speech is to modify the audience in some way, either its behavior or its attitudes or feelings.
  5. An after-dinner speech (5-7 minutes) in which the general purpose is to amuse and entertain the audience.  Students attempt to develop their individual senses of humor.
  6. At least one of the speeches listed above will involve the use of multiple sources that are verbally cited.  Both the informative and persuasive will require verbally cited sources and a works cited page.
  7. In addition, the individual instructor may wish to include activities like the following:  The one-point speech (4-6 minutes), impromptu speeches (1-2 minutes), and group presentations or panel discussion (20-30 minutes).

Methods of Student Evaluation: The instructor evaluates the student’s attempts at public speaking, discussion, etc; herm papers on selected subjects; herm efforts on written tests, with the oral performance comprising at least 50% of the final grade.

Presentation of Major Assignments: All major assignments must be typed using Times New Roman 12-point font and must follow MLA format.  Work completed in class must be on lined notebook paper – no spirals or jagged edges – completed in blue or black ink.  Work submitted in pencil will not be graded.

Grade Percentages: All in-class work, homework, and daily assignments will be classified under your “Homework” grade – which will comprise 20% of your overall course grade. Many in-class “Homework” assignments cannot be made up.  If you miss class and miss an activity, you simply miss out on those points.

20%      Homework                                                                                                                      
50%      Speeches / Public Presentations                                                                               
20%      Quizzes / Exams                                                                                                            
10%       Participation / Attendance / Audiencing          


The reason for your absence does not change the fact you were absent. 
Whether your grandmother died or whether you partied too much, you are still missing class.

If you are absent from class you must email me close to the scheduled class you missed. 
12-24 hours is a reasonable time frame.
I do not need long stories of why you are absent.
Simply being courteous and professional will suffice. 

State that you will not be in class or that you were not in class. 
Keep me in the loop.
Emailing = partial homework credit for the day you miss.


Late Work / Late Penalties

  • Everyone must be prepared to speak on the first day speeches are due. Speech order will be random.  If you are not prepared to perform when you are called, you must be prepared to go first the next day.  Late speech assignments will only earn 50%-75% credit at the instructor’s discretion.
    • If you are not ready to present or are absent on that second day, you will receive a zero for the assignment.  You may apply for a slot on the ‘do-over’ speech day scheduled at the end of the semester.  Zero-speeches given on the ‘do-over’ day will only earn a maximum of 50%-75% credit, at the instructor’s discretion. Applying for a slot on the ‘do-over’ day is not a guarantee that you will get a second chance.
  • Major assignments other than speeches will not be accepted one week past the original due date and will be docked 10% each day it is late (that’s each day late, not each class period.  If something is due on Thursday, it’s 10% off Friday, 10% off Saturday, 10% off Sunday, etc.).
  • Daily work / homework, when applicable, will only be accepted one day after your return to class for 50% credit.  As a general rule, in-class work cannot be made up.
  • Quizzes and exams must be made up the day you return from an absence whether you’re prepared to take them or not. In the event of an absence, students may be given an alternative quiz / exam which may be more difficult in nature.
  • If you need an extension on a major project, you need to email me 12-24 hours in advance to request an extension.  If you communicate with me ahead of time, late penalties may be waived. If you simply hand work in late, late penalties will applyCommunication is key.
  • Work not handed in during class should be submitted to my mailbox near the main office.  Leave a note with the date and time you are submitting the work. Work cannot just be left under my classroom door or on my desk.

Plagiarism: Defined according to the 2012-2013 SWIC Student Conduct Code: “Plagiarism is defined as the act of representing the work of another as one’s own. Plagiarism may consist of copying, paraphrasing, or otherwise using written or oral work of another without proper acknowledgment of the source or presenting oral or written material prepared by another as one’s own….Sanctions for academic dishonesty include a failing grade on an individual assignment, examination or course. Serious matters of academic dishonesty or disruptive behavior may cause the student to be withdrawn from the instructor’s course or a program of study.

Though this course is for college credit, it is being conducted on a high school campus.  As such, the Student Conduct Codes of  Sparta High School and Southwestern Illinois College will be fairly and consistently enforced.

[1] Pronoun problem solved in favor of ‘herm’ as opposed to s/he or he/her, because the word is the first part of ‘hermaphrodite,’ which [is]…an affirmation of totality.” Codrescu, Andrei. The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara & Lenin Play Chess. Princeton University Press, 2009. (232, endnote #4). Print.

[2] Rophie, Katie. “The Extraordinary Syllabus of David Foster Wallace: What His Lesson Plans Teach us About How to Live.” Slate. 23 Nov. 2011. Web. 04 Jan. 2012.