Spring 2011





Preparation for Discussion


Group Assignment

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You should keep a journal of observations you are making about Obama’s speaking based on the concepts that you are learning in this course. During the first part of the course these will be tied directly to our discussions. That is, I will expect you to complete the journal entry prior to the beginning of class on days when we discuss speeches. You will need to make at least one entry a week in your journal. On weeks when you do not have a specific assignment tied to the discussion, you should formulate an entry having to do with some speech that Obama has presented that week or one we have studied under the leadership of our groups.


Each entry should be dated, list its subject and be at least a page long. Your journal entries should be entered on the ELMS website. Please copy and paste into the journal facility on the website rather than uploading files. My grading can proceed much more efficiently and we can discuss your journals better during office hours if you follow this protocol.


Journals will be graded on (1) your clearly identifying informed theses about Obama’s speaking based in our study, (2) your clarity and support of those theses, and (3) the quality of your writing. Obviously a failure to do these week by week will adversely impact your grade. I will begin grading the journals, a few a week, following spring break. The grade assigned at that time is tentative. At the end of the semester I will read those you have written after that initial reading and may increase or decrease your final grade for the assignment. 15 percent of semester grade.

Preparation for discussion

We will develop a way for me to reward those who regularly do the reading and prepare for class discussion. This may involve a quiz or additional journal entries. A decision on this option will be decided the first day of class. Whatever we decide this will be 10 percent of grade.


The exams will be part objective and part essay. The objective portion will test you over the rhetorical concepts you have acquired in the readings for perspective. The essay portion will test your ability to take the concepts learned and apply them to make judgments of speaking.

All examinations are "closed book" and all rules of the Code of Academic Integrity (see University of Maryland Undergraduate Catalog) apply, including the use of the University Honor Pledge on each exam.

For missed exams see information on requesting an excused absence.

Mid-term will be 25 percent of course grade; final 30 percent.