A persuasive speech will be created and presented by the student. This topic must be cleared with the professor prior to building the speech. An outline form specific to Persuasion is given in the Course Documents area to guide the construction of the speech, and it is expected to be used if the student does not employ the Outline Builder in MindTap. In this presentation the student must try to convince listeners to agree with the topic, or to take action. Topics should be substantial and should have an impact on fellow students. Pedantic topics such as “buy my favorite flavor of ice cream” should be avoided in favor of topics that speak to the current human condition (Stop Mining Coal to Stop High Cancer Rates in Nearby Communities), a student’s major (Steroid Use Should be Banned in All Sports), student hobbies/interests (Spay/Neuter Your Pet to Prolong Life), current events in the news (Guns on Campus), or personal experiences that could inform other students about issues that may not be well understood. Usually, a topic that comes from the student’s own experiences or passions makes for the best topic—but then must be supported by experts.
Topics that are off-limits for any type of speech include abortion (I just can’t take it anymore), medical marijuana, religious proselytizing which can be offensive, or unethical topics. Likewise, unproven topics (Zombie Apocalypse, Bigfoot) are not allowed. Remember, choose a topic that uplifts or strengthens our homes, our communities, or our world.
Once your topic is chosen, approved, and a rough outline is put together, you are then expected to use the library’s databases to find material to support your speech. There are instructions on how to access the library’s databases in the Course Documents area. You will find the abstracts helpful. The author of each article is asked to create a one-paragraph synopsis of the article, known as an abstract. It is then placed in the front of the article and listed with the article information page.
Read the abstract before you read the entire article. This will easily tell you whether or not the article will pertain to your topic or if it is only loosely related and may not contain information that will apply. It is recommended that if you use the article in your speech (or in papers!) you download the .pdf version of the article to your own computer.
Do not use web sources until after you have obtained the minimum number of database sources if you want to achieve full points on this assignment. When researching in the databases, one can make use of the citation builder to find the MLA citation for each article, and copy-and-paste that citation into one’s own Works Cited page. This makes the whole process of citations super-fast and much, much easier!! The Works Cited page should be completely formatted according to the MLA Style guide. If you decide to construct citations by hand, be sure you obtain the wise guidance of a librarian or the actual style guide itself. Questia continues to be an option.
You will also compile a series of images in a PowerPoint presentation to accompany your speech. This could be shown to your audience while you are speaking. Again, this should be images, not text. Review all of the materials on PowerPoint in Course Documents, including the two examples, to be sure you understand the power of PowerPoint when it is used properly. This will ensure you obtain the most points you can get. A rubric will be provided in advance of the due date.
In the Assignments area of BlackBoard, the student will submit on or before the date due:
• an outline (again, technically complete with topic statements only)
• a properly MLA-formatted Works Cited page
• the PowerPoint file used (no voice-over PPT!)
• and a complete written manuscript of the speech
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