Exemplary: Claims are reasonable, clearly stated, and thoroughly explained with a combination of evidence and the speaker’s own analysis. A variety of types of supporting materials (explanations, examples, illustrations, statistics, analogies, quotations from relevant authorities) are used to develop ideas. The presenter establishes his/her credibility through use of reasoning and support.
1. Avoid Plagiarism!
Support material for orally communicated message is no different from any other message. The rule remains, “If the idea is not yours, then give credit to the source of the information.” Despite this, most speakers unintentionally plagiarize because they do not cite sources. In written messages internal citations and works cited pages are the vehicles for giving credit to others. In a speech, credit must be given with language that is part of the speech. This means students must (1) remember to cite the sources, and (2) cite the sources in a manner that maintains a smooth flow of language.
Students should include names, years, and titles of sources at minimum. Students are also encouraged to include credentials of sources when they are experts that can elevate the credibility of the claims being supported. Ask students to write sample main points of speeches, inserting at least one piece of support material for each point.
2. Proof = Logic + Evidence
The arguments made in a speech follow the same model as they would for any other message. Students should understand the elements of argument and how they come together to provide proof for their claims. A model of argument is included. Ask students to construct their own arguments, individually or as groups, using this model as their framework.
Students should understand how to identify poor reasoning. A list of fallacies is included. Ask students to find in popular media an example of each of these fallacies. Students, individually or as groups, can present the fallacies and engage a discussion as to why they are fallacies, and how they could be amended to be stronger arguments. This is an opportunity for informal oral presentations to be included in the course.
4. Reasoned Clash in Debates and Discussions
In-class debates and discussions are excellent ways to energize students and reinforce effective vs. ineffective argumentation. Using the principles of sound argumentation, students can practice making these arguments by using a four-step model of refutation. This model, along with an example, is included.