NCLC 202: Public Speaking and Critical Thinking Summer 2006
Mid-term Exam—essay section
Part II: Short answer section (50 points: 5 points per question) Please read the following questions
carefully. Provide as strong of an answer as you can.
1) What is the difference between transactional communication and transformational
2) Our attitudes often affect our ability to be an effective listener; and they form a strong level of
internal interference. What are the three ways in which bias can distort messages? How do
they differ? Which of these do you feel you’ve encountered or experienced as a listener and
what are your strategies for countering them?
3) If you were giving a speech on the general topic of gun control (i.e. for or against), which of
the designs covered in chapter 14 do you think would be useful in selecting or arranging your
points or sub-points? Give three examples of how this might work.
4) What are some trigger words you react to and how do you negotiate this reaction?
5) Which of the three principles of Gestalt psychology mentioned in the book do you feel is most
relevant to the way that you arrange material in a speech and why?
6) What are ways to determine whether a piece of evidence is appropriate for an informative
speech? Which of these did you find the need to employ most often in preparing your
7) How is a claim different from a fact? Provide an example of each.
8) Describe three ways that outlining can help a speaker prepare for an upcoming speech?
9) How is the specific purpose of a speech different from its thesis? What are the ethical
problems that can develop in this divide?
10) For what type of speech do you think prestige testimony would be most appropriate? What
about Expert? Lay? Be sure to include some example of each in your response.
Part III: Essay section (60 points: 30 points per question) Please read the following questions
carefully. In the space below each question, provide a comprehensive answer.
1) On Monday of this week, we heard informative speeches from every member in this class.
Choose one of your classmates’ speeches and describe how you feel it demonstrated good form.
Your analysis should cover how his/her speech adheres to all of the aspects necessary for good
form. Be as specific as possible.
2. The book mentions the social benefits of public speaking and attributes this importance to the
freedom of speech saying, “When the public decisions are open to public discussion, power is
distributed among the people” (7). They go on to discuss the importance of public speaking in
ancient Greece, at the time that Aristotle wrote his “organized and systematized study” of Rhetoric.
John Dewey later defined the Public as anyone who felt the consequences of a specific private
interaction (a public in itself). Lippmann, on the other hand, saw the public as being constituted by
people who became active in their interest on an issue (a public for itself). In colloquial use, we
usually mean it as something that is available to everyone or something that is run by the state.
Consider the section from Perry Anderson’s Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism that I passed
along to you on Tuesday (included below). Taking into account this information, his later claim that
“The classical polis was based on the new conceptual discovery of liberty, entrained by the
systematic institution of slavery: the free citizen now stood out in full relief against the background of
slave laborers”(37), and your own knowledge of American history, what do you think this does to the
idea of “the public?” Try to relate these thoughts on this general concept to your own observations
of what you think passes for public speaking today: what, in other words, is the status of the public,
both in theory and in practice?