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COMM 1110-C, Public Speaking (CRN 484)

Spring 2019, MW 9:30-10:45 a.m., IC-205


Professor: Peter Boltz, Ph.D. E-mail:


Office: Alumni House, upstairs.   Office Phone: 678-359-5257

Office Hours: MW 1:30-3:30 p.m., TTh 8-10 a.m. or by appointment.


Course Description: This course will provide an introduction to the essentials of effective speaking. The course will help students develop credibility as speakers by gaining basic competence in the preparation and delivery of spoken presentations.


Course Objectives:  By the end of the semester you will

-- be able to use GALILEO to gather supporting material;

-- be able to use any library to gather supporting material;

-- be able to structure a speech into an introduction, body and conclusion form;

-- be able to write an outline;

-- be able to write a proper specific purpose and central idea;

-- be able to write and deliver informative and persuasive speeches;

-- and be able to recognize and avoid academic dishonesty.


Textbook:             The Art of Public Speaking, Stephen Lucas, 12th ed.




Exams:  A midterm exam and a final exam will be given, testing your knowledge of the concepts and information in the text and from the lectures. 


Speeches:  You will be required to give three (3) speeches during the course of this semester.  Your performance will be rated according to criteria learned in lecture and exercises.  Speeches will be timed and must be within 1 minute (over or under) of the scheduled time. (See #15 below for more information.)


Speech Outlines: These are required twice: once for a practice delivery and once for the graded delivery. The outline submitted for practice delivery will be critiqued, and you will be expected to submit a new draft for the graded delivery. (See #15 below for more information.)


Quizzes: You can expect to be quizzed on every assigned chapter. If a chapter is scheduled for a particular day, you must have read it before class. We will discuss chapters in class, but you are responsible to be knowledgeable about a chapterís material even if it is not discussed in class. There will also be pop quizzes to test your knowledge of key concepts.


Participation/Attendance: This component of your grade involves reading and knowing the assigned chapters, asking questions, being present for speeches, being prepared for class discussions, writing peer critiques, orderly conduct in the class and in-class critiques of student work by the professor and the class. Attendance is the larger component of the grade, and frequent absences, tardies and early departures can have a serious negative impact on your semester grade.




1.  Outlines:   All outlines will be graded against professional and collegiate standards and will be typed.  Outlines will follow the form explained by the professor.  Spelling, grammar, and/or usage are graded.  Factual correctness is also required. Outlines are due the same day of your speech.


2.  Late Work: I donít accept late work.


3.  Attendance Required:  Roll will be taken every class.  You are allowed two absences without penalty.  Additional absences will result in the loss of 7.5 points (i.e., each absence = the loss of 7.5 points from your attendance grade).  If you are absent on the day of speeches, you will lose 10 points. Early departures will also mean a loss of participation points.


4.  Tardiness: Chronically tardy students will lose 5 points from their attendance grade every time they are late for class. If you are late for class on a day that speeches are scheduled, do not enter the classroom until you are sure none of your colleagues are speaking. If you interrupt a classmateís speech by your tardiness, you will lose 10 attendance points.


5.  Academic Dishonesty:  This includes but is not exclusively plagiarism and cheating. The penalty for this offense is failure of the assignment, of the course and/or further prosecution by the college. Ignorance is not a defense.


6.  Emailing: I encourage students to email me questions or drafts using their Gordon accounts, but I may not be able to answer in a timely manner. I check my email on a regular basis, but this does not guarantee immediate or timely response.


7.  Consultations: Grades are private and protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. I will discuss your grades only with you and in private.


8.  Keeping Track of Your Grade: I do not keep a running calculation of your semester grade. All of your graded assignments are returned to you, and you know the number of your absences, so at any given point during the semester you can calculate your grade. (See the grading section below.)


9. If you are absent or tardy, you need to speak with a classmate about what you missed.


10.  I reserve the right to adjust this syllabus any time during the session. Students will be consulted and informed of changes during class periods.


11.  Cell phones, etc. will not be allowed for use in the classroom. If you are caught looking at your phone, you will receive a warning for the first offense. Subsequent offenses will cost 20 points each time from your attendance grade. If you look at your electronic device during a quiz or an exam, you will receive a zero on that quiz or exam.


12.  If you need academic accommodations for a disability, you need to make an appointment with student counseling. The number for that office is 678-359-5585.  


13.  Scantrons. You are required to purchase a packet of 12 Scantrons from the campus bookstore for use in this class for quizzes and exams. You will hand these packets in to me during class on the assigned day (see Assignment Due Dates below). Students who have not done this will not be allowed to take quizzes or exams.


14.  Submissions of outlines. You are required to submit your papers to D2L the day (before 5 p.m.) you submit your printed outlines in class.









Informative Speech                                                                                           15 percent

Persuasive Speech                                                                                              15 percent

Impromptu Speech                                                                                            5 percent

Attendance                                                                                                           5 percent

Quizzes (average of all quizzes)                                                                     20 percent

Midterm exam                                                                                                   20 percent

Final Exam                                                                                                          20 percent





90-100   A             80-89     B            70-79     C            60-69     D             <60         F






<1:30 or > 8:30 = 0 pts.                      <2 or > 8 = 1 pt.                                   2 or 8 = 2 pts.       2:15 or 7:45 = 3 pts.           

2:30 or 7:30 = 4 pts.                            2:45 or 7:15 = 5 pts.                            3 or 7 = 6 pts.       3:15 or 6:45 = 7 pts.

3:30 or 6:30 = 8 pts.                            3:45 or 6:15 = 9 pts.                            4 or 6 = 10 pts.





Jan. 14                         Collect Scantrons

Feb. 12                        Submit Informative Speech outline on D2L by 5 p.m.

Feb. 13                        Informative Speech outline due

Feb. 25                        Midterm Exam

Mar. 4                         Last day to drop without failing

Mar. 4, 6                     Informative Speech Delivery

Apr. 7                          Submit Persuasive Speech outline on D2L by 5 p.m.

Apr. 8                          Persuasive outline due

Apr. 22, 24                  Persuasive Speech Delivery

Apr. 29, May 1            Impromptu Speech Delivery

Final Exam                  May 6, 10:15 a.m.
















Week 1                         

        Jan. 9                      Course introduction.


Week 2

        Jan. 14                   Chapter 15, Speaking to Inform.

        Jan. 16                   Chapter 5, Selecting a Topic and Purpose.

Week 3                                                                 

        Jan. 21                  MLK Day

        Jan. 23                   Chapter 7, Gathering Materials.

Week 4                         

        Jan. 28                   Chapter 8, Supporting Your Ideas. Chapter 14, Using Visual Aids.

        Jan. 30                   Plagiarism and other academic dishonesties.

Week 5                         

        Feb. 4                     Chapter 9, Organizing the Body of the Speech.

                                        Chapter 10, Beginning and Ending the Speech.

        Feb. 6                     Writing the bibliography and the outline. More on academic dishonesty.

Week 6                         

        Feb. 11                   Chapter 11, Outlining the Speech.

        Feb. 13                  Informative Speech outline due. Speaking exercise.

Week 7

        Feb. 18, 20            Review Informative Speech outlines.

Week 8                         

        Feb. 25                  Midterm Exam. (Mar. 4 is the last day to drop without failing.)

        Feb. 27                  Go over midterm.

Week 9                                                                 

        Mar. 4, 6                Delivery of Informative Speech.

Week 10                      

        Mar. 11-15            Spring Break.

Week 11                      

        Mar. 18, 20           One-on-one reviews of informative speeches.

Week 12                      

        Mar. 25                  Chapter 16, Speaking to Persuade.           

        Mar. 27                  Chapter 16, Speaking to Persuade, continued.

Week 13                      

        Apr. 1                     Chapter 17, Methods of Persuasion.

        Apr. 3                     Chapter 17, Methods of Persuasion, continued.

Week 14                      

        Apr. 8                     Persuasive Speech outline due. Speaking exercise.

        Apr. 10                  Expectations for the Persuasive Speech.

Week 15

        Apr. 15, 17            Review Persuasive Speech Outlines.

Week 16                      

        Apr. 22, 24            Delivery of Persuasive speeches.

Week 17

        Apr. 29                  Impromptu speeches.

        May 1                    Impromptu speeches.

Final exam                   May 6, 10:15 a.m.






Title IX

Gordon State College is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. If you (or someone you know) has experienced or experiences any of these incidents, know that you are not alone. All faculty members at Gordon State College are mandated reporters. Any student reporting any type of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking must be made aware that any report made to a faculty member under the provisions of Title IX will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator. If you wish to speak with someone confidentially, you must contact the Counseling and Accessibility Services office, Room 212, Student Life Center. The licensed counselors in the Counseling Office are able to provide confidential support. Gordon State College does not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy, parenting or related conditions. Students seeking accommodations on the basis of pregnancy, parenting or related conditions should contact Counseling and Accessibility Services regarding the process of documenting pregnancy related issues and being approved for accommodations, including pregnancy related absences as defined under Title IX.


ADA and 504

If you have a documented disability as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, you may be eligible to receive accommodations to assist in programmatic and/or physical accessibility. The Counseling and Accessibility Services office located in the Student Center, Room 212 can assist you in formulating a reasonable accommodation plan and in providing support in developing appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to all GSC programs and facilities. Course requirements will not be waived, but accommodations may assist you in meeting the requirements. For documentation requirements and for additional information, contact Counseling and Accessibility Services at 678-359-5585.


House Bill 280

For information regarding House Bill 280, see the University System of Georgia at the following link:


Religious Holidays

Gordon State College acknowledges that the academic calendar can sometimes conflict with major holidays from among our diverse religious traditions. If a student must miss class due to the observance of a religious holiday, that absence may be excused. To be excused, the student must inform his/her instructors before the absence and make alternate arrangements for any work due at the time of the absence. An excused absence for the observance of a religious holiday does not excuse student from responsibility for required course work.


Hightower Collaborative Learning Center & Library

The Hightower Collaborative Learning Center & Library offers Gordon State students specialized library research assistance. Students can meet with their personal librarians for one-on-one help in each discipline, major, or course to search and evaluate information sources effectively. Go to to schedule an appointment by clicking the Personal Librarian tab or click

on the Presentation Practice Room tab to make a reservation. For immediate help, call 678-359-5076 or stop by the Circulation/Check-Out Desk. You can also Ask A Librarian or drop by the Circulation/Check- Out Desk. Check the libraryís web site for hours, Electronic Resources, and LibGuides (subject- or class- specific research guides).


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