COMM 191B Syllabus
Director of Forensics: Genelle Austin-Lett
Office: HGH 214
Winebrenner, T. (1994). Intercollegiate forensics. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
The focus of COMM 191B is platform speaking. A unit of credit is earned by competing in one tournament. The obligations for this class include: research, writing and speech design of at least one prepared event and one limited preparation event (events listed below), practice, and participation in at least one tournament.
Platform Events include the following competitive event categories:
|Prepared Events:||Limited Preparation Events:|
- Identify and research potential speech topics;
- (With regard to prepared events), design and construct a speech of original authorship;
- Work effectively in a diverse environment;
- Cooperate and support one another while traveling to competitions.
- Since you receive priority registration, you are required to attend practices from 3:00 pm – 5:30 p.m. Make sure you arrange your class schedule accordingly.
- Regular and punctual attendance is required. In the event that you must miss a practice, you are required to notify the coaching staff in advance.
- To earn one unit of credit, you must adhere to course policies and successfully participate in one tournament.
- For competition in Limited Preparation Events, you are expected to know (and stay informed of) the major state, national and international issues of the day, drawing from no fewer than five media sources.
- You are required, and expected, to do your own original thinking. San Jose’s policy on academic honesty will be enforced. Any form of plagiarism can disqualify your team and/or the entire SJSU squad, not only for individual tournament(s), but also for the full competitive season.
- Specific requirements for competing are listed in the Tournament Rules and Contract, attached to this green sheet. You are required to sign this document prior to any tournament travel.
Students will be required to prepare and compete in at least two events, one from each category listed below. You may participate in as many individual events as the host school allows, as you can reasonably prepare for, and for which you are cleared by the coaching staff. You will be expected to attend at least one tournament for each unit of credit. Students going on overnight trips are expected to enter a minimum of two individual events, more is preferred. If you aren't debating, you would need two prepared events not two limited preparation events (impromptu and extemporaneous). Don't start out with five, gradually add and perfect as you go along. Prepare your presentation. Schedule and attend practice rounds. Ask the appropriate coach to listen to your speech. Work with others who may be entered in the same event.
Category 1: Prepared Events
- Persuasive Speaking: Students design original speeches to inspire, reinforce or change beliefs, attitudes,
values, or actions of the audience.
Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Visuals may be used. Time limit: 8-10 minutes.
- Informative Speaking: This is a great event for students who need to improve presentation skills. These well-researched speeches range from simply giving information to actually demonstrating a process. It must be an original, realistic speech. Visuals may be used. Time limit: 8-10 minutes.
- Communication Analysis: The student writes an original speech to explain or evaluate a communication event such as a speech, speaker, movement, poem, poster, film, campaign, etc., through the use of rhetorical principles. Audio-visual aids may be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Time limit: 8-10 minutes.
- Speech to Entertain: This speech is persuasive in nature, but spun with wit. It is not a comedy routine or a string of jokes. Ideally the student uses intellectual humor to drive home a point. Visuals may be used. Time limit: 8-10 minutes. Description of Limited Preparation Events (both of these events train students to think quickly on their feet and clearly articulate their ideas)
Category 2: Limited Preparation Events
- Impromptu Speaking: The student learns to instantly organize thought and deliver a five-minute speech. Each competitor is given three topics ranging from quotations, to single abstract words, to famous people, to events, and to current issues. The student has two minutes to prepare a five-minute speech.
- Extemporaneous Speaking: This event tests the student's ability to research, analyze, and shape ideas into a cohesive speech. Topics are questions taken from current events. The competitor must collect and keep a comprehensive file of news articles to use for this event. The student is given thirty minutes to prepare a 5-7 minute speech.
In a prepared speech event a manuscript is required, have it TYPED, the original to be submitted to the coach, with a copy for your own use. All materials used in competition shall not have been used by the student in interscholastic competition prior to the current academic year. A contestant may not use the same cutting/ content or any portion of the cutting/ content in more than one prepared event at any tournament.
Students are expected to work in concert with the coaching staff in order to prepare events. All topics must be cleared with the coaching staff. All work must be evaluated and approved by the coaches before leaving for a tournament. No one will attend a tournament unprepared. The coaches will sign off on whether the student is ready for competition.
You must clear all hurdles before attending a tournament.
- Get the topic approved
- Get the speech approved
- Get the delivery approved
No topic, no approval, no research, no evidence, no drills, no practices = no tournaments. All are necessary to be able to compete.
Go to Tournament Rules for information on how to sign up for tournaments, tournament conduct, travel preparations, tournament procedures, and the tournament contract.