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PUBLIC SPEAKING

COMS 101

COURSE SYLLABUS

J. Schultz

This course meets the Area A2 Requirement.


The required textbook for the course is online version of MY COMMUNICATIONLAB with PEARSON E-TEXT for
PUBLIC SPEAKING. 4th ed, by Beebe.
Recommended for the Essay assignment: Hacker, Rules for Writers, 6th Edition with MLA.

Educational Objectives: After completing this course, students should have achieved skill in
oral communication (including listening, speaking, and critical attention to language use), and
have an enhanced ability to
1. hear and understand what is said, formulate relevant responses in complete sentences
free of slang, and construct spoken messages in a variety of rhetorical contexts,
including brief messages, conversations, group discussions, and oral presentations;
2. understand the place, function, and ethical use of oral communication;
3. evaluate spoken messages critically, especially for their clarity, informative value, and
use or abuse of rhetorical devices in oral persuasion;
4. recognize that writing and speaking are closely related, and that each is an effective
act of rehearsal for the other;
5. locate, retrieve, evaluate, and incorporate material appropriate to oral presentation,
and cite such material accurately;
6. recognize the common fallacies of thinking;
7. practice writing skills related to the subject matter of the course.

Criteria: This course will include writing activities of not less than 2500 words related to the
content and logic of oral presentations. Students will be required to present four or more oral
presentations of 3-5 minutes, including but not limited to: storytelling, a speech to inform, a
speech to persuade, and an impromptu speech. The course will provide both instruction and
practice in
1. applying techniques for attentive listening and accurate comprehension of spoken
messages;
2. the skills appropriate for a variety of oral presentations;
3. the principles of outlining appropriate to various speaking situations;
4. using organizational patterns appropriate to various speaking situations;
5. evaluating the uses of language, including the abuses of language, in persuasive
speaking;
6. locating, retrieving, reporting, evaluating, integrating, and accurately citing research
material;
7. identifying the common fallacies of thinking, and understanding their implications in
both written and oral forms.

Course Grades: In this course you will have reading requirements, speaking and listening
requirements, and writing requirements. Active listening is a fundamental prerequisite for
effective and efficient public communication, so attendance is very important and will affect
your final grade. The final grade will be determined by the total number of grade points you
accumulate during the quarter.
Course Content:
Speaking Assignments. A minimum of four speeches will be required, including Storytelling,
Speech to Persuade, Speech to Inform, an impromptu exercise and a Group Speech. Each will be
accompanied by a written outline, with an attached bibliography of at least four credible sources,
including from outside the internet. (45% of final grade).
Written Assignments: Written assignments will include at minimum a researched essay (1500
words), a library assignment (500 words), a speech self-evaluation (500 words), as well as
speech outlines and a resume. To be typewritten, double-spaced, and written in clear, standard
English with attention to paragraph organization, punctuation, spelling, etc., and to include
outlines and bibliographies. (25% of final grade).
Examinations: Will include multiple choice, true-false, fill-in and essay questions.
(20% of final grade).
Attendance and Participation: Regular attendance and active participation are critical for
yourself and others in the class. You are expected to attend all classes except for excused
absences, and to participate in group discussions and provide feedback on speeches.
(10% of final grade).
For best results: avoid rudeness (dont talk over others); dont phone or text while in the
classroom (turn phone off); dont arrive late to class. Be considerate; you will be sharing this
experience with a room full of others.

My Office is located in 46T, Room 102 (Trailers next to Natatorium Bldg. 46)
Office Phone 756-5683

Email: jschultz@calpoly.edu (note the spelling!)

Office Hours: (including electronic)


Monday/Wednesday 12:30-1 pm
Tuesday/Thursday

11:30-12 pm

Or by appointment.