COMS 101 Persuasive Speech

COMS 101

Persuasive Speech Instructions

This course requires you to present a persuasive speech to an audience of 3 or more adults. You must use a camcorder to record the presentation. After recording the presentation, you must download it from your camcorder onto your computer and then upload it in Blackboard using Kaltura. To do this, follow the Uploading a Video to Blackboard with Kaltura tutorial document, which is in the Assignment Instructions folder. Your grade for the speech will be determined by the degree to which it satisfies the requirements listed below.

Topic Selection

This assignment requires you to research a global, national, regional, state or local problem that apparently exists because humans in general or a specific group of humans are neglecting their duty to promote the things God values in this world. See the Alban text pp. 73–76 for more about the things God values.

· The problem may be political, economic, educational, environmental, medical, religious, or cultural. It may be a false belief or set of beliefs (about God, nature, or other people) that needs correction, a wrongful attitude or type of attitude (toward God, nature, or other people) that needs adjustment, a neglectful or wrong way of acting (toward God, nature, or other people) that needs to change, or a state of needfulness or brokenness that exists as it does because of human indifference or inactivity.

· The problem must be a social one that deters many individuals—not just a few isolated lives—from experiencing life according to God’s Word as he intended when he created the world the people in it.

Among the social issues that could generate a qualified speech topic are the following:

abortion, infanticide, or euthanasia

discrimination (racism, sexism, ageism)

abuse (child, elder, self, spousal)

ecology (climate change, pollution, littering)

addictions/codependency/eating disorders

education (underachievement or illiteracy)

air, land, or water pollution

famine, drought or diseases

animal abuse or vivisection

labor issues (child labor or sweatshops)

bioethics (cloning, eugenics, stem cell research)

marriage (divorce, cohabitation)

birth or population control

poverty (world hunger or homelessness)

crime (street, juvenile, gang, or white collar)

sex (pre-marital, extramarital, homosexual)

criminal justice (prison crowding, recidivism)

slavery or human trafficking


The following sites may be helpful for discovering or exploring these and other qualified topics:

Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity

The Heritage Foundation

Family Research Council

The Rutherford Institute

The American Enterprise Institute

The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life

The Discovery Institute

Speech Goals Because this is a persuasive speech—a speech in which you try to persuade the audience to believe or value something or to act in a specific way (see the Alban text pp. 328–349)—and because you are to use this particular speech to advocate a redemptive solution to a social problem (see the Alban text pp. 72–77), your goal in this presentation is to use information from appropriately credited expert sources in 2 ways:

(1) To identify the social problem and to establish, with information from credible sources, that it exists somewhere in the world, and

(2) To prescribe a redemptive remedy for the problem—a remedy that, if implemented by someone or a group of people, would promote something that God, according to Scripture, values and that, if implemented, could help somebody experience life as God, according to His Word, meant it to be experienced. For a helpful but not exhaustive list of things God values and corresponding biblical supports see the Alban text, pp. 73–76.

Examples: In such a speech, you might use information from documented expert sources to establish that abortions claimed 630 lives in your home county last year. You would then use Scripture to argue that God values human life, including preborn human life. Finally, you could argue that the county must take 3 specific steps, described by you, to eliminate or diminish the frequency of abortion in the county. Alternatively, you might also use information from documented expert sources to establish that the federal government authorizes the use of a certain chemical in the treatment of drinking water and that credible research from sources A, B, and C indicates this chemical actually causes cancer. You could use Scripture to establish that God wants humans to protect the bodies he created. You would then argue that the federal government must take steps to protect people by banning the chemical from use in the treatment of drinking water.

As you promote something God values (e.g., life, quality of life, creation care, etc.) through this speech, be sure you do not condone or promote something God’s Word discourages or prohibits (e.g., fornication, adultery, homosexuality). After all, a solution is redemptive only if it promotes something that God values according to Scripture. If you are uncertain whether your proposed solution to a social problem satisfies this standard, discuss this in advance of the project’s deadline with your instructor.


Other Topic Criteria: Your topic must satisfy not only the preceding criteria, but also the topic selection criteria set forth in the Alban text and the Liberty University Online Honor Code. In addition, your topic must comply with the following:

· Topic Appropriateness: Avoid any topic that leads you to portray legally or ethically questionable texts or behaviors in a favorable light. This includes but is not limited to theses that advance sexually promiscuous activity, the use of illegal substances, or other behaviors that Liberty University’s statement of values prohibits. Questions about the appropriateness of topics, sources, etc. should be directed to your instructor early in the speech-planning process.

· Topic Originality: Your speech topics MUST be researched, selected, and delivered primarily for this course and not primarily for, or in conjunction with, a presentation for a church group, a Sunday School class, a social group, or any other small group. You may not give a speech that serves a double purpose.

· Topic Grading Criteria: You must choose a topic that enables you to construct the speech in a way that satisfies the specific requirements of the Speeches Grading Rubric, which lists the criteria that your instructor will use when grading your presentation.

Research, Organization, and Outlining

Basic Requirements: For your persuasive speech, you are required to:

(1) Research credible sources for information about your topic.

(2) Form a thesis (a statement that argues for a position) for your speech based on your research.

(3) Express this thesis as a complete thought in a single thesis statement sentence.

(4) Choose the information from your research that most powerfully delivers the type of information that this thesis statement requires.

(5) Present this information in a logically sequenced outline of properly documented main points, sub-points, and perhaps even sub-sub-points, using the Persuasive Speech Outline Template document as your formatting guide. Your outline in its final form will serve as the blueprint that you mentally must follow while extemporaneously delivering the speech to your audience.

· Research Requirements: For your persuasive speech, you are required to use 4 expert sources. You must use and clearly cite examples, illustrations, statistics, quotations from experts, etc. from at least 4 expert sources in this project. An expert source is a person, group of persons, or organization with documentable expertise in the area it addresses. Information from such sources typically derives from personal interviews with credentialed experts or from documentable print and/or electronic publications (see the Alban text, pp. 161–167, for more about this).

· The Bible as an Expert Source: While you may of course use the Bible as a source when related to your topic, it must be in addition to the 4 required sources.

· The Alban Text as an Expert Source: The third section of the Alban text, pp. 405–480, and the U.S. Government’s Occupational Outlook Index count as 1 of your 4 sources, not as 2 separate sources.

· Non-Expert Sources: Never use information from anonymous or questionable sources such as Wikipedia or any printed source authored by someone whose credentials for addressing the topic are not clearly established.

· Liberty University Database Source Options: It behooves you to consult the Liberty University Library’s research portal for access to many potentially useful, credible databases.

Organization and Outlining Requirements :

Topical Sequencing Required: You must use the Problem-Solution organizational patterns for addressing your topic (see the Alban text pp. 220–222 for more about this).

The Draft and the Final Outlines: The speech outline process involves 2 submissions. After reviewing your draft outline, your instructor will post constructive feedback that you must heed and assimilate as you compose the revised final outline. The draft outline and the revised final outline must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents via the designated Blackboard submission links.

Use the Outline Template: You must use the Persuasive Speech Outline Template document as a guide for constructing your speech outline. Retain the given formatting. Provide information for each category—an audience description, organizational pattern, purpose statement, etc. Include clearly distinguished introduction, body, and conclusion sections.

Outline Parts:

· The introduction must be listed in this order: your attention-getter, credibility statement, thesis statement, and preview statement.

· The body must include 2–5 main points, each with supportive subpoints, and perhaps even sub-subpoints. These will consist mainly of documented examples, illustrations, statistics, quotations from experts, etc. that you have derived from the 4 or more expert sources that this project requires.

· The conclusion must include a summary statement, a call to action, and a concluding element that refocuses the audience’s attention on the thesis.

· The Works Cited (MLA), Reference page (APA), or Bibliography (Turabian) must properly credit your sources and must do so in the format prescribed by the respective format used.


Document Your Sources Properly:

· In-Text and End-Page Citations: Whether you directly quote, summarize, or paraphrase it, any information that you present in your outline and in the speech itself must be explicitly attributed to the source from which you derived it. This requires you to use parenthetical citations or footnotes in the outline itself to show which information derives from which expert source. This also requires you to list the same sources on a Works Cited (MLA), Reference (APA), or Bibliography page (Turabian) in the format prescribed by the style manual that you choose for this project.

· Use Direct Quotes Sparingly: If you include directly quoted material from another source in your outline, it must account for no more than 20-percent of the outline’s content.

· Offset Direct Quotes with Quotation Marks: You must place the directly quoted material inside double-quotation marks to make it clear that you are not claiming to be the originator of the quotation’s wording. Failure to use double-quotation marks to offset directly quoted material constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism a serious academic offense that results in automatic failure of the assignment or automatic failure of the course (see the Liberty University Honor Code for more information about this).

Speech Recording and Submission Process

You must record and submit your Persuasive Speech presentation in a manner that satisfies the following requirements. They are outlined first and then explained in further detail below that. Your failure to satisfy these requirements will result in the grading penalties prescribed by the Persuasive Speech Grading Rubric:

Basic Speech Delivery Requirements:

· You must use a camcorder to record your speech presentation.

· You must upload your recorded speech presentation to Blackboard using Kaltura for the instructor to view and to grade. Use the Uploading a Video to Blackboard with Kaltura tutorial document, which is in the Assignment Instructions folder.

· Your speech must be 4–6 minutes of uninterrupted, recorded presentation.

· You must deliver your speech to a visually-documented live audience of 3 or more adults.

· You must deliver the speech extemporaneously. Your speech delivery must have a natural conversational quality. DO NOT READ YOUR SPEECH. Speeches that appear to the instructor to be read may be deemed unqualified for grading and may not be accepted.

· You may use notecards for occasional reference during the speech presentation if needed. However, do not let these become a visual distraction. Do not use computerized devices or larger pieces of paper for these speaker’s notes.

· You must maintain strong posture, gestures, and eye contact with the audience, and you must avoid any visually or aurally distracting mannerisms while speaking.

· You must use an effective volume, pitch, rate, and vocal delivery during the presentation.

· You must properly use a visual aid during your speech delivery.

1. Digital Camcorder Requirement: The instructor needs to clearly hear and see your speech in order to assess presentational qualities and determine your score for the project. Thus, you must use a digital camcorder or other digital video recording device to record your speech presentation and a computer to upload it to Blackboard using Kaltura for the instructor’s viewing. If you do not have a camcorder with uploading capabilities, you can acquire a camcorder via MBS, Liberty University Online’s official textbook provider. You could also consider borrowing such a device from a friend, your church, a public library, or other source. Unless you submit the required audio-visual recording of your speeches, you are highly unlikely to complete this course with a passing grade and should consider withdrawing from it.

· Webcams: Although a computer webcam may be used to record a speech in a manner that satisfies the aforementioned requirements, the instructor will not accept a speech recording in which the speaker appears to be reading his/her speech from the computer’s screen. This includes all speeches delivered by a speaker who appears to be sitting or standing too close to the camera, even if this speaker was not, in fact, reading the speech.

Also, it is strongly recommended that you use a tripod or a trustworthy audience member to hold your camcorder to allow for stable video recording.

2. Speech Recording Requirements: Before you record your speech, be sure to practice it in advance. Practice recording it for personal evaluation so that you can determine how to improve the speech’s presentational qualities. Additionally, ask someone to help track the time for you and give signals to let you know whether you have satisfied the presentation’s time requirement.

· Your speech recording must be unbroken. Do not stop the camera until your presentation is complete.

· Document your audience first. Your unbroken speech recording must begin by visually documenting the required live audience of 3 or more adults.

· Keep the camera still during the speech. Except when panning the camera from your audience toward the lectern, the camera must remain in a stationary position and stay focused on the speaker throughout the presentation.

· Stand the proper distance from the camera (8–15 feet) while speaking. Your speech must be given from a standing position (unless you have a Liberty University documented handicap that restricts your mobility). If you appear to be standing closer to or farther from the camera than this, your speech may not be accepted for grading. A speech seemingly delivered from a sitting position in front of a webcam will receive a score of zero.

· Be visible throughout the speech. The top half of your body must be visible throughout the entire speech presentation.

· Your recorded speech must last 4–6 minutes from its first spoken word to its last spoken word. Speeches that exceed or fall short of this will receive point reductions per the terms of the grading rubric.

3. Speech Download Requirement: Once you finish recording the speech presentation, download it to your computer. Using media viewing software, confirm that your presentation is visible and that the sound is audible before you upload it. Most computers come with already-installed media player software (e.g., Windows Media Player or QuickTime). If you do not have media player software on your computer, consider these free downloadable programs: GOM Media Player or VLC Media Player.

Always keep a copy of the speech recording file in case technical complications require you to repost the file to your instructor.

4. Speech Submission Requirements: Once you have viewed your speech on the computer to verify that it is presentable, upload it to Blackboard using Kaltura. Use the Uploading a Video to Blackboard with Kaltura tutorial document, which is in the Assignment Instructions folder.

5. Revised Speech Outline Submission Requirement: Submit your corresponding revised final speech outline—one that assimilates the changes your instructor recommended in response to the draft—via its separately placed link. Your speech outline submission is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8.

If, due to personal reasons, you do not feel comfortable using Kaltura, please contact your instructor, as alternative means of submission are available.

Note the following submission-related advice:

· Never try to submit your speech file directly via Blackboard as a file attachment. This will not work. You must use Kaltura to upload the video to Blackboard (refer to the Uploading a Video to Blackboard with Kaltura tutorial document, which is in the Assignment Instructions folder.

· Confirm that your upload succeeded. Watch the entire video to confirm whether the upload was successful.

If you have questions about these guidelines, direct them to your instructor as soon as possible.

*The views and opinions expressed in the videos are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by Liberty University.


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