SPOKEN AND WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS
INTRODUCTORY: (One required)|
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS: (One is required)
Notes on Analysis
"Let me in one word sum up this almost boundless subject; |
I lay it down as a maxim,
that upon the prudence of and the abilities of an accomplished orator,
not only his own dignity but the welfare of vast numbers of individuals,
nay of the whole government rests.
Therefore, my young gentleman, go on; ply the study you have in hand,
for your aim honor, the advantage of your friends,
and the service of your country."
Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Oratore
In the course of your speech you must use all four of the "Master Tropes," listed below. You may use them in any order you desire, and you may use them as many times as you likeprovided each gets used at least once. Be creative in your use of the tropes; come up with some original metaphors rather than "dead" ones.
Four Master Tropes
Irony: The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. The use of words to express something different from, and often opposite to, their literal meaning. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. E.g.: when something designed for protection or betterment leads to an individuals downfall.The purpose of this assignment is to:
Metaphor (Perspective/Comparison): A figure of speech whereby one thing is seen in terms of something else. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison, as in "a sea of troubles." Metaphors use words or concepts that are already known to an audience to explain other words, concepts, or relationships, that may not be so well known. (A metaphor is not the same as a simile: a figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by "like" or "as," as in "How like the winter hath my absence been" or "So are you to my thoughts as food to life" (Shakespeare).
Metonymy (Reduction): To convey some incorporeal or intangible state in terms of the corporal or tangible, e.g., to speak of "the heart" rather than "the emotions." Also: "container for the contained," such as references to the pen being mightier than the swordwhere the words represent "peace" and the sword "war." Reduction is representation. Substitution of one word for a related word.
Synecdoche (Representation): Part for the whole, whole for the part. An integral relationship, a relationship of convertibility between the two terms. E.g., a politician representing "the people"; the president representing the executive branch. Any act of representation.
You can count how many seeds are in the apple, |
but not how many apples are in the seed.
For this speech you will tell us about three characteristics of your life by drawing upon three metaphors. You might talk about your life chronologically or through three phases. For example: "when I was a boy I was a badger"; "when I was a teenager I was a pitbull"; "as a college student I am an owl." You might also choose to talk about three characteristics of your life that are apparent only to certain people. E.g., "with your parents you are a child"; "with your friends you are a shrink"; and "with your teachers you are a scholar." This is only a few ideas; the list is limitless. Try to avoid "dead" metaphors like sports analogies, horses galloping, lions or bears, or computers. Leave such metaphors to suffer the deaths they have earned. Be creative and original.
The purpose of this assignment is to:
I had reasoned this out in my mind, |
there was two things I had a right to,
liberty and death.
If I could not have one,
I would have the other,
for no man should take me alive.
You can count how many seeds are in the apple, |
but not how many apples are in the seed.
In this speech, your task is to convince your audience that such action is necessary, and to try and get them to take the action you suggest.
The Speech should:
Censorship, like charity, should begin at home;|
but unlike charity, it should end there.
Clare Booth Luce
The purpose of this assignment is to:
You must do the thing you think you cannot do.|
This assignment asks you to take a definite position on an issue of substance locally, statewide, nationally, or internationally (in other words not why chocolate is the best food) and persuade the audience through logic and evidence to believe as you do. You should make the audience think about an issue that they can be persuaded on and agree with you.
The Speech should:
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, |
he isn't fit to live.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Second: perhaps the next most important issue is repetition. You need to repeat your ultimate point (to sell your product) over and over ad nauseam. We must know what it is, why we should want it, what it will cost, were we can get it, why it is reasonably priced, how to order it, etc. This includes repeating and demonstrating the features in a variety of (somewhat tedious) ways.
Third: use ethos, pathos, and logos. Give me logical reasons, give me personal accounts of its value, and make me believe that you believe it all.
Fourth: you must have the actual product there to convince us and show it being used in a variety of "useful" ways. You might want to enlist a "wacky" sidekick to banter with you or to demonstrate the product. Depending on the product, a "fit, attractive, professional, competent" or "intelligent" aid will be sought. This is just an idea not required.
Fifth: your job is to sell these things and not just talk about them/it. You must include a means of our acquiring your product in your presentation. This is not an "informative" speech but a persuasive speech where you seek to convince us that we simply "must" have this product. Be prepared to answer any questions. You might want to "seed" the audience with a few questions ahead of time to get the audience rolling.
Sixth: be sure and address the issue(s) of why I should want this product, why I "need" this product, of what benefit will this product be to me, and how the product will make my life better. In doing this you must be able to demonstrate an understand of what factors might motivates the members of your audience through the way that construct your appeals.
One way to accomplish this is by focusing on "features" and "benefits." Features refer to those aspects of a product or item that are a result of its design. For example:
When Hitler attacked the Jews
I was not a Jew, therefore, I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the Catholics,
I was not a Catholic,
and therefore, I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists,
I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned.
Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church
and there was nobody left to be concerned.
Attributed to Reverend Martin Niemoller
This assignment asks you to take a definite position on an issue of substance locally, statewide, nationally, or internationally (in other words not why chocolate is the best food) and persuade the audience through logic and evidence to take a specific course of action. You should make the audience think and ACT.
The Speech should:
look upon the language which they speak and write as an art.|
Yet it is, or ought to be, the noblest of all the arts,
looked upon with respect, even with reverence,
and used always with care, courtesy, and the deepest respect.
Mary Ellen Chase
For this speech you will focus on an issue, person, area, philosophy, belief, etc., that you have reason to believe the audience is mistaken or misguided about. Examples include:
If all my talents and powers were to be taken from me by some inscrutable Providence,|
and I had my choice of keeping but one,
I would unhesitatingly ask to be allowed to keep the Power of Speaking,
for through it, I would quickly recover all the rest.
Be prepared to invest some time reading/understanding the article and discussing it with me so that you might transmit the important, interesting, useful aspects of the article to the class.
Your goal in this speech is threefold: (1) to heighten the audiences interest about the article/author you are reviewing. (2) to "review" the articles key points for the audience in such a way that they understand the essence of the arguments and the thrust of the articlehence the required visual aids. And (3), take a position relevant to the authors claims and either agree or disagree with the authors claims.
Visual aids should not be paragraph by paragraph outlines of the article but rather, should contain key facts/points, explain difficult concepts, and include examples to illustrate the authors claims.
We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.|
John Stuart Mill
You have two options on this assignment:
Option (1): select someone with a cultural background different than yours and present their life and contributions to the class. Note: all people born in the US are considered to have the same cultural background unless you can convince me otherwise.
Option (2): select any woman born in the United States prior to 1920 and present their life and accomplishments to the rest of the class.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,|
committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Although "demonstrations" are sometimes conducted of new products, automobiles, computer systems, and other complicated phenomenon in such a way that the audience cannot actually duplicate what was demonstrated to them, that is not your goal in this speech. You should not select something to demonstrate that cannot be actually brought into the classroom and "demonstrated" in the timeframe available. Furthermore, your demonstration should be conducted with the assumption that your audience could actually go home and do what you demonstrated. Thus, any activity involving heavy machinery, complicated power tools, or an understanding of some specialized knowledge base such as computers, mathematics, or machine repair should be avoided.
For this speech you should pick something that you already know how to operate, use, or explain. Be sure to choose something that can be explained in the timeframe that you have available. Keep in mind that when done everyone in the audience should, in theory, be able to do what you have demonstrated.
For this speech be sure to do the following: (1) create a textual visual aid(s) that will serve to remind your audience of the steps involved in the activity you are demonstrating. (2) bring in sufficient visual aids to demonstrate your activity. This likely will involve having multiple V.A.s to demonstrate the progress of your activity. For example, showing the ingredients to the cake you will demonstrate making and how they are combined. Showing how to test if the cake is done with a model cake. Showing how to cool the cake. And finally, having finished (and frosted) samples for your audience to try. (3) utilize the steps involved in informational communication: motivation, clarification, and retention/repetition. (4) attempt to select something to demonstrate that the members of your audience would feel is interesting, useful, or valuable. (5) be competent at demonstrating what you select.
You may be disappointed if you fail, |
but you are doomed if you don't try.
Your goal here is to "inform" the audience about some issue, subject, event, phenomena, activity, etc., that they would be interested in hearing about, and find valuable to hear about. Your topic should be an issue of substance rather than some banal or trite topic. Make an effort to inform about an area of general interest to the audience but also an area where they could stand to know more about.
There is no point in informing your audience about an issue that they already know a great deal about or already agree withno preaching to the congregation. Nor should your efforts be aimed solely at persuasionyou should be concerned with informing not convincing.
One must be aware, when one is attempting to "inform," what that information should mean or be worth to your audience. Be aware of the political value of the information to your audience. Just because you think that an informative speech on rape is significant does not mean that your audience does, or even has to, the informer must supply the link to the audiences values.
Although this is to be an informative speech, the line between information and persuasion is a thin one. At times it may be necessary to convince your audience that what they knew before (before you came to inform them) was false or misguided. Although "information" may seem politically neutral All information, to some extent, has a political or ideological component. Information is the basis for knowledge, and knowledge is the basis for many forms of power, thus information may and does constitute power.
For example, when the federal government puts a ban on federally funded agencies preventing them from providing information concerning abortion to women they are hindering free choice by limiting information. Similarly, the teaching of religion in schools is prohibited because of the assumption that such information could tend to oppress those with differing views or limit the freedom of expression of the majority of citizens. Information is not "politically neutral."
Issues such as "abortion" or "gun rights" are so emotionally charged that so called efforts at "informing" are often doctrinaire persuasive efforts in disguise. Try to avoid issues that are so heavily charged that "honest" informing is not possible.
He doesn't bark like a dog, and he knows the secrets of the deep.|
Gerald De Nerval Explaining why he kept a lobster as a pet
The attention step refers to your introduction where you "get your audiences attention," or "motivate" them to listen. The need step is established in the body of the speech where you establish some tangible "need" to be resolved in the minds of your audience.
The satisfaction step is where tell your audience, explicitly, what needs to be done to "satisfy" the issue in questionthe satisfaction step also occurs in the body of your speech.
The visualization step usually is the last main point of your speech. This is where you paint a vivid picture in the mind of your audience and provide them with either "positive" or "negative" visualization. "Positive visualization" is where you tell your audience what benefits will result from taking the action you advocate; "negative visualization" is where you tell your audience what unfortunate events will occur if they fail to take the action you advocate.
Finally, the action step is where you call the audience to take the action you are advocatingthe action that will resolve the "need" you have already discussed.
What you are not doing here is simply trying to get youre your audiences agreement. Nor are you trying to convince them that they are wrong and you are right. Your goal is to move them to take some action. The mere willingness on the part of an audience member to take some action is proof enough that you have stimulated or convinced them.
Once again, in this speech you must use MMS and have some sort of "observable," measurable, quantifiable, action step.
Topics for this speech should emerge from intellectually significant social, cultural, economic, and political questions confronting our society and/or university environment today. The speech subjects should be well adapted to the classroom audience. Your topic, whether it deals with the Middle East, the energy crisis, UFOlogy, Emporia, or Marriage, should involve action steps.
Specific Objectives of the Speech to Persuade
Everybody experiences far more than he understands.|
Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behavior.
In this speech it will be necessary to clearly define the "problem" as you work to convince your audience that there is in fact a need that they should be addressing. Once you have effectively established that there is a need, you must demonstrate how the policy that you are proposing provides a satisfactory solution. Some questions you might want to address include: is the solution desirable? Is the solution feasible? Is it an improvement over the status quo? Does the solution tie into the audiences beliefs, values, and behaviors?
Topics for this speech should emerge from intellectually and socially significant societal, cultural, economic, religious, moral, and political questions confronting society or the university, today. Speech subjects should be well adapted to the classroom audience. Your topic, whether it deals with the Bosnia, science, UFOlogy, SUNY, or the cost of milk, should be phrased as a proposition of policy.
A proposition is something which is advanced, or proposed, to another for consideration. Propositions of "policy" are issues that deal with "policies," or how we should act or proceed. Other types of propositions (which you will not be employing in this speech) include: propositions of "fact" which deal with issues of truth or falsehoodis something so, or not so; and propositions of "value" which deals with good and bad, or how we should conduct our lives, our "values."
Propositions of policy lend themselves well to judgment based on proposed criteria. Propositions of fact and value are not so readily determined by criteria but often involve assessment of external criteria. Propositions of fact, for example, are often subject to "proof" and are used to support propositions of policy. Propositions of value, by contrast, are often more influenced by an audiences beliefs about the world: politics, religion, family, etc., are also useful for supporting propositions of policy.
See the persuasive speech handout for more information on persuasion.
Watch out wen youer gitten all you want. |
Fatten in hogs aint in luck.
Jole Chandler Harris, Uncle Remis: His Songs and His Tales, 1881.
Your task will be to argue in favor of the topic givenno matter how absurdand to come up with sound arguments for pursuing said course of action. Your paper will be evaluated based on how well you construct an argumentthat is, your use of ethos, pathos and logos, your use of "support"and how appropriate, believable, convincing, relevant, suitable, and credible your sources are.
Your paper will also be evaluated based on the "notes on the scholarly essay" handout on my Web page http:WWW.fredonia.edu/department/communication/kent/essays.html. Proper referencing, citation, and bibliographic referencing are also expected. Be sure and review the handout on writing scholarly essays also before you begin.
It is not enough to teach a man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise hewith his specialized knowledgemore closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person. He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to individual fellow-men and to the community.|
Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, 1954, p. 66
This assignment will call on you to examine the underlying assumptions of your major/minor or field of study, to identify the assumptions that guide the practice of research and the theories in your field. You are not required to agree with the assumptions that you identify, nor are you required to disagree, however, you should take a position in regard to what you learn.
Your task in this essay will be to identify and examine the underlying assumptions of your field in order to explain how said assumptions affect conduct in your field. Your essay will be evaluated based on how well you analyze the assumptions of your fieldand how appropriate, believable, convincing, relevant, suitable, and credible your sources and arguments are. Your paper will also be evaluated based on the "notes on the scholarly essay" handout on my Web page http:WWW.fredonia.edu/department/communication/kent/essays.html. Proper referencing, citation, and bibliographic referencing are also expected. Be sure and review the page on writing scholarly essays also before you begin.
Few new truths have ever won their way against the resistance of established ideas save by being overstated. |
Isaiah Berlin, in Paul Heyer, Communications and History:
NB: Once a written project has been turned in, graded, and returned to the student, it may be re-written for an improved grade. The student has one week to complete the re-write and you must turn in the original paper AND evaluation form with the re-write. Work turned in late will still carry the late penalty assessed regardless of a re-write.
Even the smallest dog can pee on the tallest building.|
The separation of an intellectual or substantial whole into its constituent parts for individual study.
Tautology is defined as:
1.a. Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy. b. An instance of such repetition.
Logic: An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement Either it will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow.
Circular reasoning. When conducting your analysis, you do not need to restate the obvious for me like: "education assumes that people can be taught," unless your statement is somehow in contention of you will argue that the assumption is false.
Just because you write that "X is an assumption of the field" does not mean you have conducted an analysis. Analysis involves "separation of an intellectual or substantial whole into its constituent parts for individual study." You must support your claims about the field as well as making them. Analysis involves telling me why something is or is not the so and how that assumption guides or influences practice in your field.
Bottom line. Do not restate the obvious to me. I already understand the basic assumptions of most fields. I want you to explain to me how those assumptions influence professional or academic practices in your field. Your job is to conduct an analysis that demonstrates to me that you understand why these assumptions exist and how they influence the conduct of members of your discipline.
And a further reason for caution, in this respect, [susceptibility to jealousy and fear] might be drawn from the reflection that we are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists.|
Publius [Alexander Hamilton], The Federalist Papers
For this option you should submit a proposal for approval as soon as possible so that you might begin. You must submit your proposal and have it approved before you begin this assignment.
Your proposal should include the following:
I am Ratis-Norvegicus, Im sitting in some shit hole rats nest and Im a little angry. I wanted to be a talk show host not a Rat. You men think you have it bad with women? Well I've got it a lot worse let me tell you. What am I going to say to some nice looking girl who I want to meet: "I can tread water for over thirty-six hours, I can chew through lead pipes and cinder blocks, I can run on telephone wires." And what if I do get the girl homeCant fit her through the door, its too small. Yea I got a lot of gripes. How would you like to have a tail the length of your body to drag around all the time? Not my idea of fun by a long shot. And do you see the neighborhoods that Im forced to live in, those people live like pigs. Cant catch the subway they havent built it yet; Cant catch the uptown bus I can't reach the step upHey Taxi! And everyone wants to kill me, feed me drugs and poison, put electrodes in my head, make me run on treadmills, dissect, bisect, and infect me, bind, blind, maim and tame me
Are you folks crazy? You never invite me to you partiesas if I would really want to go anyway. Have you ever asked me to go to a movie, how about bowling? You ever seen a Rat cry? I got tears, and I have a heart, and Ive got brains. And if you could just see past the fur, I think you would see, that Im a lot like you.|
Henry Rawlins, Black Flag: "Ratis-Norvegicus"
Specific Objectives of Persuasion
Now to the salaries of teachers. In a healthy society, every useful activity is compensated in a way to permit of a decent living. The exercise of any socially valuable activity give inner satisfaction; but it cannot be considered as part of the salary. The teacher cannot use his inner satisfaction to fill the stomachs of his children.|
Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions,1954, p. 66
For this assignment, you should go out and observe a speaker. The event cannot be something you saw on television, or a speaker you saw last year, but must be some real, live, event that will take place this semester (after you have read this). You must take "critical" notes when you are at the eventwhich is why this must be a future speaking event.
Your goal in this paper is to critically evaluate the speakers using concepts from the class, your text, and class discussions. You should evaluate the credibility of the speaker, his/her organization, message, delivery, sources, structure (introduction, body, conclusion), his/her use of evidence and sound reasoning or rhetorical strategies, and whatever else you deem relevant. In the critique you should not simply "describe" what the speaker did, but "analyze" it. Answer questions such as: "why was the speaker effective/ineffective?" "Why were his/her arguments persuasive, sound, flawed, etc.?" And, any other questions that seem relevant. This should not be a summary of what the speaker did but an explanation of why or how what s/he did was effective and why. Do not simply assert that the speaker was effective but be able to provide "good reasons" for why s/he was effective.
To support your analysis and claims in your essay you are expected to draw upon concepts and theories from the textbook and class discussion. As part of your analysis you should provide a brief audience/occasion/speaker analysis that addresses several questions: what was the event?; what time of day did it occur?; what was the location of the event?; what was the seating like?; how many people were in attendance?; why were they there?; what was their dispositions like?; what was the format of the lecture/talk like?; were there opportunities for questions and answers?; where were you seated?; why were you there, and what was your disposition? And finally, as suggested above, was the speaker effective and why? Your paper will also be evaluated based on the "notes on the scholarly essay" handout on my Web page http:WWW.fredonia.edu/department/communication/kent/essays.html. Proper referencing, citation, and bibliographic referencing are also expected. Be sure and review the page on writing scholarly essays also before you begin.
No man, however strong, |
can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or senator,
and remain fit for anything else.
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams
NB: At no point in an oral interpretation "speech" should you try to explain to the audience what the text you have selected is "supposed to mean," what it means to you, what you think the author meant, etc.. Based on your delivery of the selection alone, all of those things should become clear to your audience.
Selection of Material: Select a piece of poetry or prose that has universality or profunditysomething that speaks to everyone in the audience.
pro·fun·di·ty (pre-fùn´dî-tê, pro-) noun; plural pro·fun·di·ties
Ninon De Lenclos (1620-1705), a French courtesan whose salon attracted many prominent literary and political figures, including the playwright Moliere and the philosopher Saint Evremond. Her disregard for religion prompted Anne of Austria, mother of Louis the XIV, to have her confined to a monastery. Her friends soon arranged her release, but not before she had seduced (or been seduced by) 439 monks; she apparently kept detailed records. |
The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes, 1985, p. 350
The humble obedience which one learns as a follower has become rather the humble obedience which one teaches as a leader.
Kenneth Burke, The Rhetoric or Religion.
Writing is like prostitution: first you do it for the love of it, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money.|
In real love you want the other persons good. In romantic love you want the other person.|
Margaret Anderson, The Fiery Fountains, 1969 
There are no honorable bargains |
involving exchange of qualitative merchandise like souls
for quantitative merchandise like time and money.
William S. Burroughs,
The worst evil of all is to say that neither good nor evil is anything in itself, |
but that they are only matters of human opinion.
Justin Martyr, First Apology, p. 25.
The most basic rule of survival in any situation is never look like food.|
If you make people think theyre thinking, theyll love you; |
but if you really make them think, theyll hate you.
Don Marquis, In, The Essential Ellison, p. 341
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Last updated: Monday, August 20, 2007