SPCM 110 DFB ORAL COMMUNICATION
COURSE SYLLABUS Term C
Instructor: Kenton Anderson
917-557-6182 (No Texting Available yet)
(Please make phone calls before 9 pm and do not expect email responses after 9
pm. This includes the night before speeches! Better yet, prepare for speeches
several days early…)
Catalogue Description: Study of the nature of speech, sound production and communication
process; practical experience in the skills of the oral communication process. 3 Sem. Hrs. 3
credits. Prerequisite: Placement at EN111 level. Non-native speakers of English must have
completed SPCM 109 or its equivalent or secure the permission of SPCM 110 Instructor to
waive this requirement. Students are required to inform the instructor of their status on the
first day of class, so other arrangements can be made.
Course Objective: Students will understand the nature of oral English from its
anatomical/physiological origins through the interpersonal speech Communication Cycle
associated with Public Speaking. These goals will be achieved through the close examination of
four specific aspects of the process:
1. SPEECH PRODUCTION: Analysis of the process of normal speech development; the many
varieties of possible speech and voice deviations; the concepts of a standard of spoken American
English and the nature of regional dialects (emphasizing New Yorkese); and techniques and
practice that will lead to the student’s improved articulatory skills, to improved auditory
discrimination, self-monitoring and listening skills as well as a grasp of the nature of the phonetic
basis of the speech system.
2. HEARING AND LISTENING: An understanding of the physiological basis of hearing;
examination of the variety of factors both physical and psychological that contribute to and
interfere with effective listening practice.
3. SPEECH COMMUNICATION: Examination of the nature of the intrapersonal and
interpersonal communication processes; to learn to employ more effectively the psychological,
intellectual, organizational, oral and listening skills involved with communication so as to
develop greater social and environmental control; to gain a greater appreciation of the nature of
language, both verbal and non-verbal so as to function with greater analytical, critical and
creative effectiveness; to assist in greater self-assurance and freedom in communication through
self-awareness and recognition of the communication needs of others.
4. PUBLIC SPEAKING: Comprehension of principles and techniques required for effective
public speaking; to assist in preparation, organization and practice of speeches for public
performance; to demonstrate individual’s abilities through a series of public, in-class
performances designed to acquaint students with the demands of and techniques required for
achieving specific types of speech objectives, including the formal, out-loud citation of
Activities: Lectures; analysis of video-taped speeches; class discussion; assigned readings and
writing; library research and instruction from library staff; oral performances (both
extemporaneous and impromptu) with a variety of goals such as debate, demonstration,
expository, argumentation/persuasion, interview, special occasion; written and oral examination
as well as critical evaluations of in-class presentations.
Student Outcome Assessment: Outcomes will be assessed through 1) written assignments and
examinations, speech evaluations demonstrating listening skills and application of principles of
communication; and 2) oral performances/outlines with emphasis upon specifics of content,
organization and delivery. For major speeches, the extemporaneous speaking style is required.
Oral reading is not a goal of this course and should not be encouraged or rewarded with passing
DeVito, Joseph A. (2009).The Essential Elements of Public Speaking, 3rd Edition. New York:
1. An English Dictionary you can carry with you to class.
2. A ―pocket folder‖ for assignments handed in and handed back in class. It will stay with the
instructor and be available for you on class days. You may take it home at end of semester.
3. A name placard to be kept visible on your desk each day of class.
4. You will electronically submit, before the class starting time of the class period previous to
each speech date, a typed, one-page, double spaced analysis of a public speaker you watch in
person, online, or on the weblog. You will examine their speech in terms of the current readings.
5. You will electronically submit, prior to the class period before each speech is due, rough
outline drafts of each speech, with formatted preliminaries such as with proposed topic,
organizational pattern choice, and main points following the format shown on the class weblog at
6. You will submit, at the times of your speeches, four (one for each speech) typed, stapled
complete outlines with Intro-Body-Conclusion. These will have attached annotated
bibliographies (in APA style) for speeches 2 (TI informative), 3 (Group Debate), and 4
(Individual Persuasion). An outline with bibliography will count for approximately 10-20% of
each speech grade.
APA Style Guide- http://www.apastyle.org/learn/tutorials/basics-tutorial.aspx
Attendance: According to departmental policy, absences from more than one and a half sessions
may result in a failing grade in the course. The instructor may exercise judgment in determining
those special emergency cases which may be considered exceptions to this policy. However,
missed speeches cannot be made up without approved documentation and must be done so in an
approved public venue beyond the class time, out of respect for your classmates. (See details
below.) Any makeup recordings so approved MUST be played for the instructor and class prior
to the final class period. Punctuality and utilization of the full amount of scheduled class-time will
be recognized as a primary responsibility of both faculty and students.
As a courtesy to your peers and me, please be in your seat and ready for work by the
beginning of class time (as found on the wall clock). Be ten minutes early on days you are
scheduled to speak. You are expected to remain in class until it is formally dismissed.
To help the instructor better learn your name and be able to call upon you for discussion
(which counts toward your grade), I ask that wherever you choose to sit the first day or two
please sit in that same seat for at least the first month or so, using a large-print nametag that you
will design yourself today. This will help familiarize me with your name and face and help me
better serve you. The name tags can be stored in your folder between class days and should be
picked up there each day and placed on your desk so I can read it from the front.
Grading: 70% of the final course grade will be derived from oral performances; 20% from
midterm (@Ch. 1-6) and final (@Ch. 7-12) exams (10% each); and 10% from class participation,
attendance and in-class exercises. At least four oral performances during the semester will be
achieved. Only when documented emergencies arise should arrangement for make-up work be
pursued. Students must be prepared to perform on dates announced for speeches and
examinations. Be ten minutes or more EARLY on the day you are to speak to prepare visual aids
and other technical or personal issues. Speech dates and order may not be changed without
approval from instructor.
Speeches are worth progressively more as the term unfolds. Thus, the first speech is
worth 1 grade, the second worth 2 grades, the third worth 3 grades, and the fourth worth 4 grades.
This total is 70% of your course grade, as noted above. This gives you a chance to improve your
grade as you gain mastery of speaking, but don’t get complacent if your early speeches score
highly; plan to work more as the term progresses, not less!
Competency Goals: Students will acquire and exercise the six abilities identified as required for
graduation by the Mercy College General Education Program through the following:
Writing - Research projects, outlines, written peer evaluations, examinations.
Critical Thinking - preparation and delivery of researched and impromptu speeches,
argumentation and debate activities.
Quantitative Reasoning - to the extent possible, through use of statistical data utilized in oral
performances and written assignments.
Oral Communication - formal and informal extemporaneous and impromptu speaking
Information Literacy Competencies - through Library and Internet research, interaction, and
orally through interviews. Thus, students are required to access and fulfill all
instructions on the weblog at: http://www.kba2.wordpress.com/ and to schedule
regular Skype speech practice times with their group partners. Students will need a
computer mic and camera to use Skype. (This latter requirement may be waived for
groups electing to practice their speeches in person with entire group, usually on
Each week you are also required to watch one Professional Speaker on Utube,
other mediated sources, or in person and type a one-page, double-spaced critique of
their performance which you will submit to me via email before Tuesday’s class
time. You may use the speakers posted on the Weblog for this purpose, answering
the questions given, or find them elsewhere and use a Student Evaluation form, as
found on the Weblog, to give you critique ideas. Follow proper essay format with
Intro/Preview, Body/Development of Main Points, and Conclusion/Summary.
During the third week of class, you will survey your classmates regarding their
interest in, knowledge of, opinions on, and emotions about your final two persuasion
topics. You will create this survey on SurveyMonkey.com and email the link to your
classmates so they can easily respond.
Critical Reading – through research projects and speaking assignments.
Class Structure: Generally, classtime will be spent in preparing students for speaking
assignments. Thus, we will have in-class mastery exercises, lectures, and written assignments. In
the intensive summer session, book readings and lectures must be finished early in the term, since
mastering the speech assignments depends on knowing these materials. The instructor will
therefore use a combination of in-class pop quizzes, oral Q & A, and daily written journals as
needed to ensure students keep up with the readings.
In addition, due to the compressed nature of the summer class, we will need to prepare
for future speeches long before we will actually deliver them, so material related to future
speeches will often be presented while we are working on earlier speeches. Typed Draft Outlines
are due the class BEFORE you speak so you have time to integrate suggestions into your speech.
Typed Final Outlines and Teacher Evaluation Forms are handed into me before your speech so I
can use them during your speech.
In addition to outside time spent on homework, research, and speech preparation, this
course requires approximately 1-1/2 additional hours weekly in online speech mastery activities.
Therefore, you are responsible for checking the Weblog daily and reading/viewing ALL entries
by the date specified therein, completing any exercises mentioned there, and reviewing outside
speeches. I strongly suggest you forward your Mercy email to an email you use daily if you do
not regularly use Mercy Mail. Before the second class period, please email me from your chosen
email account (to both of the above emails) a brief hello note saved as a word.doc file, so I can
check for compatibility. Do not use any other file extensions (such as .wps or doc.wps).
Library Research: Becoming a credible speaker requires that you carefully choose research
sources for evidence that is reliable and verifiable. Therefore, you will need to use find and use
four (minimum) separate, discrete sources for each of the speeches (except the impromptus).
You must use each piece of evidence gathered, cite it aloud during your speech as you use it, and
cite it in written form in the outline—both at the end of the sentence referring to it (in
parenthetical, APA form) and also in full citation form (APA) in the reference list at the end of
the outline. At minimum, you should mention the author, website sponsor, document name,
and date of your source. You must also include the source information on your speaker cards so
you remember to give the sources credit aloud. Any research information used without out-
loud citation is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such.
Acceptable sources will only be credible current newspapers, magazines, and scholarly
peer-reviewed journals. I will only allow one online independent website citation per speech.
I encourage you to go beyond the minimums listed here and do extra research for better
grades and subject mastery.
You may find The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Christian Science Monitor
helpful for current topics of a general nature. Other databases such as Polling the Nation,
Lexis/Nexus, or Sociological Abstracts may give you more evidence for specialized topics.
Recording of Speeches: You are required to record each of your four speeches, except the final
speech, and critique them before the following class period. This may be done by a classmate
using a cell phone device or by the instructor using media to be viewed in the Mercy library.
Written self-evaluation forms are found on the weblog and must be printed off and handed in
class in hardcopy.
Extra Credit and Makeups: Note that we do not have time in this course to reschedule student
speeches, so be prepared to speak on your assigned day and in order or you forfeit the grade for
The only extra credit or makeup opportunities available for this class are public speaking
experiences you perform in, record, and turn in a written self-evaluation for. These must be
approved by the instructor in advance.
Hints for Success in the Class: Studies have shown repeatedly that communication skills
correlate positively with others’ rating of your credibility and with career success (Lucas, 2009).
This class builds a skill base you can draw on for life. Best of all, you can start improving your
skills and techniques from the very first week of class, if you work on them. Have fun building an
investment you can see grow right before your eyes (and everybody else’s)!
1. Twice a week intensive courses cannot be prepared for in a few hours before the class
period! It is recommended that you spend at least six two-hour study periods per week
(more as your first speech approaches) outside of class in order to succeed.
Additionally, class work seems to EXPLODE after the first week (as you’ll be
speaking very often after that). Please use the first week of this term thinking about
multiple topics, reading the text, and starting initial research for your speech
obligations. If a student allows this time to be non-productive, experience shows that
they have a very difficult time catching up or benefiting from the course.
2. Students who find themselves overly concerned or consumed with nervousness are
encouraged to seek out the instructor and work briefly one-on-one with him. In these
sessions, mock classroom experiences will be presented to alleviate jitters and provide
useful survival strategies. So as to not offend any student, I ask that you take the
responsibility to seek this free additional assistance, if desired. I GREATLY enjoy
these times, so don’t be afraid to approach me!
3. While a personal home computer gives amazing access to a range of online materials,
it is not the only way to develop a speech for this class. Get to know the Mercy
campus library, its printed materials, and its computerized databases. USE the
reference librarians online and ask them for help, if you need it.
4. Different speeches affect people differently. In a mixed audience, such as our class, be
sure to choose topics that appeal to you and ALL members of the audience. Creativity
is sometimes needed. The instructor does not assign or ―give out‖ topics without
student input. Otherwise, check the text, your friends, the newspaper, or the world
around you for inspiration.
5. Tongue and/or mouth piercings is strictly prohibited on speech days. On speech days,
you should dress in neat, clean casual clothes that represent your ―best look‖ (collared
shirts, khakis/corduroy, no hats, jeans, flip-flops, or sunglasses). Ties and dresses are
NOT necessary. All cellular telephones, palm devices, beepers, and pagers must be
turned off at the start of each class. Computers may only be used for taking class notes
& not in electronic communication.
6. Grading for this course is inherently subjective. Emphasis is placed on information
acquisition, organization, AND a continuous verbal and physical communication
delivery style. In this way, someone who is not naturally gifted as a public speaker
can aspire to the top range of grades while those who are more confident of their
speaking skills will be encouraged to dig deeper and try harder to grow and excel with
7. As a general guide, students who earn an ―A‖ on their first speech report working eight
to ten hours in preparation, with each subsequent speech becoming easier. They also
studied two hours per written chapter of the textbook. Reading the text in preparation
before lectures and then reviewing it afterward is a very sound strategy for success in
(Parts of the foregoing syllabus have, by permission, been adapted in large part from
Professor Robert Armstrong, UB/SIM.)
Course Schedule (Mon / Wed 6:00pm – 9:20pm):
Week 1: July 7
Overview, Introductions, Namecards, Groups & Order Signups, Course Relevance,
Theory, Speech Types and Structures (IPSOD, ITBC, OPs), Topics.
Impromptu Speech Practice.
Week 2: July 12
Readings Due: Chs. 1-3
Associated Skills (CA, Outlining, Rehearsal, Listening, Criticism, AA, VA,
Language, Delivery), Theory integration.
Non-researched Informative 1 Speech.
Week 3: July 19
Readings Due: Chs. 4-6
Researched Informative 2 (TI) Speech.
Week 4: July 26
Readings Due: Chs. 7-9
Persuasion Speech Preparation.
Researched Student Choice Group Debates. (Determined by class size.)
Week 5: August 2
Readings Due: Chs. 10-12
Individual Persuasion Speeches/ MMS Speech.