COMM 460
Fall 2014

Assignments and Examinations



Speech Abstracts

Undergraduate Unit Project

"Beyond the Classroom" Experiences

Graduate Paper

Late Papers and Incompletes

Academic Integrity

Disabilities and Religious Holidays

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Abstracting the Discourse

You should acquire a notebook where you can keep abstracts of the speeches we read in class. I recommend a loose-leaf binder, but you can use a wire-ring binder if you wish. These abstracts should be very useful to you in studying for your exams. Write them with this in mind. For each speech you read this semester you should construct an abstract of 100-300 words (around a page type-written or word processed, double-spaced, although these need not be word processed). Each abstract should:

  • identify the speaker, the speech, and the occasion;
  • provide a sentence or two on what the speech does and/or is about; and
  • capture the power of the speech including how the speech fits into the tasks and characteristics of rhetoric in the community in which the speech was given. Capture community expectations, how the speech called upon them for its power, and how it differed from them.

Grading Abstracts: A Bonus

Although these are primarily to prepare you for class discussions and the exams, they should also contribute to our class discussion. So, I will sweeten the grading a bit. I will select days at random to collect your abstracts on one of the speeches we discuss that day, will read the abstract and assign an "S" or "U" grade on them. My criteria for an "S" will be:

  • does your abstract show evidence you have read the speech, and
  • does your abstract show evidence you are able to use the material from the lecture to study the speech.

A grade for the semester, ten percent of the total grade, will be assigned based on your total number of S's out of the five possibilities.

Miss class on a day I collect abstracts?

Since the abstracts are primarily designed to assist in your preparation for discussion and discussion cannot be made up after an absence, and since documenting absences as the University requires for make-up is too complicated for the value of the assignment, I will use an alternative: I will collect abstracts seven times during the semester (grading your best five). Abstracts not handed in when I collect them cannot be made up. If you prefer the documentation requirement to this method of make-up, please notify me within the first week of class.

Please note I will accept the abstract only at the beginning of class before the discussion begins, and only from students who participate in the entirety of the discussion of the speech.