Department of Speech Communication
Public Speaking
SPEC 1707 Section MW2 (Course Code 60408)
Fall 2017, Monday & Wednesday, 02:15-03:30PM
404 Whitehead
Dr. Foulger


Discussion Notes / Assignments (Class Moodle)

Course Description

Public Speaking is a fundamental skill that all to often stands between people and success in life. Most careers require some level of public speaking ability, whether it involve making a proposal to your group or management at work, making a sales presentation, teaching people how to use a product or system, or making a presentation to your employees as a manager. We will sometimes face other public speaking situations, including teaching young people how to do something, making our opinion known at a public meeting, or commemorating special events. This course is oriented to helping you become a more effective and confident speaker. Many of the skills that are required to be an effective public speaker are applicable in other situations as well, and this course will also focus on providing listening, critical thinking, and research skills that will be valuable to you throughout your life.


Anonymous.  Stand up, Speak out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking. University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing. Retrieved from

Stand up, Speak Out is an open source electronic text that you can either read on the web or download to your computer, tablet, or other PDF capable electronic device.  I'll be reading it that way too.  I find e-books more convenient than books when reading on the subway, but because these texts are open source you can use them for free.  Note that you can do the readings on machines on campus using a web browser or by downloading the text to a memory card or USB memory stick.  Brooklyn College also loans laptop computers to students on a first come, first served basis. Laptops are loaned out from the New Media Service Desk, located on the second floor of the library building. 

There will be additional readings online.

Additional Materials

Learning Objectives in this section

  1. Students should be able to research, organize, and present informative and persuasive speeches.
  2. Students should be able to work effectively in groups to research, organize and participate in making a group presentation.
  3. Students should be able to adapt speech content and delivery based on audience analysis.
  4. Students should be able to recognize the different purposes and structures of informative and persuasive speeches.
  5. Synthesize and incorporate research for use in oral presentations.

Outcomes Assessment

  1. 7% Participation in Class Discussions.
  2. 7% Submission of Questions based on the course readings. Each student should submit two questions based on each set of readings before the class at which those readings are due.
  3. 6% Submission of Think Assignments assigned over the course of the trip. Each student should respond to any think assignment provided before the class at which it is due.
  4. 10% How to Speech
  5. 15% Informative Speech
  6. 20% Persuasive Speech
  7. 10% Epideictic Speech
  8. 10% Mid-Term Exam
  9. 15% Final Exam

Instructions for Accessing the Moodle Discussion/Learning Space

  1. Point your web browser at
  2. Click on "Login" at the bottom of the screen.
  3. If you haven't accessed this Moodle before.
    1. Press the "Create New Account" button in the right column of the login screen.
    2. You'll be asked to fill in a series of fields that include your user ID, password, e-mail address, location, etc. Fill them in as accurately as you can. Remember your userid and password. You will need them to log in again.
    3. When processing of this page completes you will be sent an e-mail at the address you specify. Open that e-mail and confirm your registration by pressing the confirmation link in the e--mail.
    4. When you submit this page you will enter the Moodle environment. If you see a button marked courses, press it. You will see this course (Public Speaking Fall 2017) listed. Select the course.
  4. If you are already registered for this Moodle, enter your user id and Password and then select "Public Speaking Fall 2017".
  5. You will be asked for a key. It is "psf2017". Pay attention to case. All letters must be written in lower case.

Course Rules

  1. Attendance is required for all classes, including the final exam period. Please be on time.
  2. Complete reading assignments, questions, and think assignments prior to coming to class. Be prepared to discuss readings.
  3. Write in your own words. Reference the ideas you use to the original sources. Plagiarism and cheating will are unacceptable.
  4. Unexcused late papers will be penalized 1/2 of a letter grade if one period late and one full grade thereafter.
  5. Like many of you, I come to Brooklyn College on the Subway. I endeavor to arrive on campus at least an hour before class every class day, but I don't control the Subways. If I am late for class and you have not heard directly from me that class is cancelled, do not leave. Instead, form groups to discuss the questions you posted from the reading assignments. I'll will ask you about those discussions WHEN I arrive.
  6. We have a lot to do during the semester. If I seek to end a discussion (often by saying "let's discuss this after class) I have a good reason for doing so. Please respect the rest of the class by deferring such discussion when I ask you to do so. If you are afraid you'll forget, write down a few words about the issue on a piece of paper. That's usually all you'll need.

Good Advice

  1. You will get out of this course what you put into it. Learning is effortful. There are no shortcuts.
  2. The reading and writing load for this course is moderate, but needs to be done. If you can't keep up with the readings or other assignments, you may want to drop the course early on and try again in another semester.
  3. Keep a copy of anything you submit, just in case the original gets lost.  It's good practice to write your questions and think assignments in a memo tool or text editor (but not a word processor) and then cut and paste from the editor to the Moodle.
  4. Write your name on the front of any assignment you submit on paper, including your exams and reflective paper.
  5. Assuming you work on a computer, maintain backups of your paper in a reliable and convenient format. USB flash drives work on just about all computers now, can be readily obtained for less than $20.00, and are much less likely to fail than disks. Assume the worst. Maintain two backups. A virtual backup using Google Drive, Dropbox, or some similar service is a good idea.
  6. If at any time you find yourself confused or have questions, especially in terms of the writing assignments, please ask me (either in class or in private) for help. One person's question may help countless others in class. If you can't meet me during my office hours, we can probably find another time.
  7. Please speak with me confidentially if you have a disabling condition that may require some accommodation in class. I'm here to help.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is mandatory. The Brooklyn College Bulletin states that "Students are expected to attend all scheduled sessions of every class for which they register. Students late for class may be excluded from the room. An instructor may consider attendance and class participation in determining course grade." While I am unlikely to lock the door and don't grade attendance directly, I will indirectly take account of missed class time in computing grades. You should not, as a general note, ask me for "permission" to miss class and I don't need an explanation.  I will always try to be understanding of documented emergencies, but the basic reality (which has more to do with your ability to learn when you aren't in class than anything else) is that absences make your grade grow smaller.

Disabilities Accommodation

In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations, students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability, or suspect they may have a disability, are invited to set an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services in 138 Roosevelt Hall. If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services please provide me with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me.

Religious policy statement

Students who are unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend class or participate in any examination, study, or class-related activity on a particular day should contact the instructor ahead of the time to facilitate their absence without prejudice or penalty; please see the link below for further information: