Fundamentals of Speech Communication

Course Details

Course Number: 1133  Section Number: 102

Fall 2012

Location: Fain Fine Arts Center

Classroom Number: B120

Days & Times:

MWF 10-10:50 a.m.

Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
Laura Jefferson   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

To apply the basic communication process to all communication situations in your business and everyday life.

To use the tools to successful speech preparation.

To speak confidently and effectively in a public speaking situation.

To provide the student with practical training in delivery of public speeches.

To use effective communication skills in social and business situations.  

Course Expectations

SPEECH PRESENTATIONS:   To pass the course you must present all of the following speeches.

  1. Speech of self-introduction:  Please see attached guide sheet for requirements for this speech.  You will present this speech on Mon. Sept. 10. These are very short and we will be able to present all the speeches in one class period.


  1. Informative speech:  A two to five point informative speech. You will turn in a complete, written preparation outline on your assigned speaking day and must take no less than 6 minutes and no more than 8 minutes to deliver your speech at a reasonable rate.  Sources to include but you are not limited to:
    1. A visual aid is required.  Acceptable visual aids include:  power point projected or presented on your laptop, overhead projections, and drawings, photos, graphs, etc. that have been ENLARGED.  No hand-drawn posters or collection of tiny computer-generated materials accepted. 
    2.  Three sources of credible authority; one may be a personal interview.
    3. Only two of these sources may be from the web.
    4. Please attach a bibliography.

No late preparation outlines accepted.  No exceptions. 

  1. A Persuasive Speech:  A two to five point persuasive speech dealing with a proposition of Fact, Value or Policy. You will turn in a complete, written preparation outline and must take no less than 6 and no more than 9 minutes to deliver your speech at a reasonable rate.
    1. Five sources of credible authority.
    2. No more than three sources may be websites.
    3. A visual aid is required. (See above for acceptable visual aids.)
    4. Please attach a bibliography.
    5. This speech is your final for the class.  Everyone must attend Final Day:  9:00 MWF final is Mon. Dec. 10 at 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and the 10:00 MWF final is Wed.  Dec. 12 at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Work is not an excuse.  If you fail to come to class that day you will receive an “F” in the course.  

Tests:  Three chapter tests that will cover the lectures and reading assignments.  Quizzes are given periodically over reading assignments.

Grading Standards

Class participation:  15%

Tests, quizzes, group exercises, assignments, intro speech:  40%

Informative speech:  20%

Persuasive speech:  25%

Final Exam12/12/2012  10:30 a.m.

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy


Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

CLASS PARTICIPATION:  You are allowed to make up a test or a speech presentation ONLY if you call before class. More than 4 absences, excused or unexcused, and you will be asked to drop the class IF it is prior to the final drop day.  If upon being absent for the fifth time, it is after the final drop day, you will be dropped from the class with a course grade of “F” assigned.  The last day to drop classes is Oct. 22 by 4:00 p.m.

Other Policies

Classroom Etiquette

---Part of learning how to become a more effective communicator is learning to be an effective listener.  A major part of class participation is giving your classmates your full attention when they are speaking.  Failure to do so lowers your class participation grade.

---If you are late to class the day we are presenting speeches, please wait for the speaker to finish their speech before entering the classroom and finding a seat.

---If I judge your behavior to be disruptive to other student’s learning I will drop you from the course.  “Disruptive behavior” includes text messaging, talking on your cell phone, listening to your music, sleeping, use of abusive or profane language, or any other behavior that I perceive to be disruptive.

---Please turn off your cell phone and put it away as you enter the classroom.

---Please be respectful of the classroom environment and modify your language accordingly.  Use of profane, the F-bomb, or any language that denigrates another person or another group of people will not be tolerated and you will be dropped from the course.

---If your cell phone rings in class:  I get to answer it.  If it rings in class a second time, I get to answer it and you get to drop the course.

---Often, we have class discussions.  Please respect other students’ comments, opinions, and ideas.  Raise your hand to speak and wait for the speaker to finish their point.  You do not have to agree with what they are saying, but you should agree with their right to say it.



1.  I reserve the right to adjust or cancel assignments as the course progresses. 

2. You receive two grades for each speech.  One letter grade includes an evaluation of delivery and the other letter grade includes an evaluation of the research, organization, topic choice and presentation style.

3. If you read your speech from a manuscript the highest delivery grade you may receive is a C. If you continue to read your speech, this will only lower this grade of C. 

4. You will need note cards to use in delivery of your speeches. 

5. Time limits are very important to adhere to in any public speaking situation.  If your speech is under 6 minutes or you “stretch” an insufficiently supported speech it will lower your research/preparation grade by at least one letter grade.  There is a 1minute grace period over the 8 or 9 minute limit. 

6.  If you are late to class, it is your responsibility to see me after class to guarantee you have not been counted as absent for the day.


8.  No video presentations.  We do not have the ability to present power point in this course unless you provide a laptop.  Please check out the wireless system in this room days before you are to present your speech.  The studio theatre has no wireless capabilities.    

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.