ENGL115 Syllabus- 7 week HYBRID (SZagoren)

ENGL115 Syllabus- 7 week HYBRID (SZagoren)

Public Speaking Hybrid Course

Instructor: Dr. Sindhu Zagoren                

Email: szagoren@ccp.edu

Office: Main Campus B1-05

Office Hours: By appointment



Emphasizes the preparation and delivery of a public speech. The focus of the course is speaking to inform, persuade and entertain. Some sections will further stress argumentation and debate. 



Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify speaking genres, organization structures, audience and occasion
  • Compose purposeful and coherent speeches
  • Develop receptive and critical listening skills
  • Employ effective physical and vocal skills in the delivery of speeches
  • Assess respectful and ethical persuasive techniques



Sprague, Jo, Douglas Stuart, and David Bodary. The Speaker’s Compact Handbook. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2015.




Because this is an intensive hybrid course you are required to attend all 7 of our in-person sessions, and any missed session will result in an automatic 5% reduction of your course grade, plus additional speech grade penalties if you miss your speech. Missing one session is the equivalent of 2 weeks of class, and may result in withdrawal from the course, so if you miss class for any reason you need to contact me as soon as possible.

You must attend all class session, but this especially important on class on days you are assigned to present (which will be 4 out of the 7 sessions). Because of the intensive nature of this hybrid course you will not be given a chance to make up any speeches that you miss, except in the case of a documented emergency. In the event of an emergency, be sure to contact me, via the Canvas messaging system. Emergency absences will be handled on a case-by-case basis.


Class starts promptly at the assigned time, and if you are not in your seat at the beginning of class you will be marked late. Undocumented lateness or early departure of up to 15 minutes will count as one-half of an absence and will affect your participation grade (-2.5% of your course grade). Lateness or early departure greater than 15 minutes will count as an absence. If a student is in the middle of a speech when you arrive, please wait until the speech’s completion to enter the room. Arriving late on a day when you are scheduled to speak will cost you 10% of your speech grade. 

Class Conduct

Please be aware that the content of a course in Public Speaking, especially when dealing with argumentation and persuasion, will necessarily involve controversial material. You will have a great deal of freedom in choosing some of the topics of your speeches, but in turn you will be expected to exercise discretion about appropriate material and good taste. The classroom, both virtual and physical will remain at all times a tolerant and respectful space. Because we will be examining different social and political issues that have been and continue to be controversial, it is particularly important that you respect the rights of your peers to express their opinions, and be sensitive in your own responses. This goes for both the physical classroom and the online learning environment. Think before you speak and write.

One element of respect in a public venue is refraining from interruption and distraction. Obstruction of Teaching is defined in the Student Handbook as behaviors that continue after a warning and which a reasonable faculty member would view as being likely to substantially or repeatedly interfere with the conduct of a class. In every class period, but most especially on speech days, cell phones and other noisemaking devices should be silenced. You may use electronic devices for course related activities, but if I find you texting, leaving the classroom to take a call, or sleeping during class time, I will ask you to leave and mark you absent for the day.

Drinks are allowed in the classroom, but no food.

Use of Recording Devices

Students may sometimes wish to record their own speeches, which is generally fine, however, you must obtain verbal permission from me to do so before you deliver a speech. You are not allowed to record any additional course discussions, feedback, or speeches without explicit permission from me.

Course Communication

All course communications should take place through Canvas. Technical help with Canvas is available via the Help tab on the left side of the Canvas screen, or by calling the Information Systems Help Desk at 215-496-6000.

Course communication is generally more formal than other kinds of online communication. All course communication, including email should meet certain standards. Use proper grammar and spelling - it is not acceptable to use “text speak” in an email to a professor or in a class discussion.

You may use the Canvas messaging system to email me throughout the course. These emails need to include a subject line, and should not be sent as a response to a class-wide communication. Include your name in the subject line so I know it is from you. Include a salutation, and sign your name at the end of your email. Do not send me emails with questions that can be answered by the syllabus. If you do this I will direct you to read the syllabus.

In general I will try to respond to your questions within 24 hours, however I do not answer emails during evenings or weekends. I will generally have assignments graded within a week of the due date.

Starfish Connect

Throughout the term, you may receive progress emails regarding your academic performance, generated through Starfish Connect. The emails are designed to be helpful and increase your success in this course. Be sure to open any emails you receive and follow the recommendations. I may also recommend that you contact a specific campus resource, such as the Learning Lab or Counseling Center. If I make a referral, you may also be contacted directly by this campus service as a follow-up. Starfish also allows you to see your student support network in one place. To access Starfish Connect, simply log into Canvas and click on the link, Starfish Connect. If you need assistance with Starfish Connect, you can email questions to starfishconnect@ccp.edu

Academic Honesty and Integrity (from the CCP Student Handbook)

Violations of academic integrity can include, but are not limited to, cheating and plagiarism. Cheating is an intentional effort at deception or gaining of an unfair advantage in completing academic work. Plagiarism is the act of appropriating the work of another person and passing it off as one’s own. Any student who assists another in an activity that constitutes a violation of academic integrity is also responsible and accountable for such a violation. Violating any of these rules is grounds for dismissal from the course.

Students with Disabilities

Students who believe they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact their instructors privately to discuss their accommodation letter and specific needs as soon as possible (preferably within the first week of class). If you need to request accommodations, but do not have an accommodation letter, please contact the Center on Disability (BG-39) at 215-751-8050





5 Speeches 


On-Line Discussions, Quizzes & Exercise             




General Guidelines

Over the course of the semester each student is required to deliver 5 speeches: a speech of self-introduction, a demonstration speech, an informative speech, a persuasive speech, and a speech of praise. The informative and persuasive speeches are both on the same topic. With each speech, you must turn in a detailed outline (and often a works cited page) via Canvas by the beginning of class on the day you will be speaking. Failure to do so will result in a 10% deduction for that speech. Late outlines will not be accepted for credit. Completeness of the outline will also factor into your speech grade. Finally, you should never read a speech directly from the page. You will not earn a passing grade on a speech if you do not physically engage—especially through eye contact—with your audience.


Speech 1: Self-Introduction (5%)

During our first in-person class period you will deliver a speech that reveals something about yourself. Please do not use this time simply to list facts about yourself (e.g. birthplace, occupation, etc.); instead, tell a story, discuss a strongly-held belief, or find some other creative way to express yourself. Full credit will be given for completion of the assignment—this is meant to be a low-pressure introduction to speaking publicly. (2-3 minutes)

Speech 2: Demonstration Speech (10% points)

For your second speech, you will work on the tools of delivery by presenting a demonstration speech that shows the audience how to do something or how something works. For instance, you might show us how to prepare a particular food, how to change the oil in a car, how tornadoes form, etc. You must use some type of visual aid in this speech. (3-4.5 minutes)

Speech 3: Informative Speech (15%)

For both your third and fourth speeches, you will focus on a politically contentious topic. This could range from ongoing, nationwide issues such as capital punishment or gun rights to more local issues such as casinos in Philadelphia or CCP’s budget. The purpose of this speech is to inform the audience about some factual aspects of this issue—for example, if you are going to later present an argument about gun control, you might want to first inform us about the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993. This speech should teach, explain, and clarify. Your goal is to clearly communicate new and unfamiliar information and to extend to your peers authoritative knowledge of something. You should aim to be as neutral and objective as possible in this speech. (6-8 minutes)

Speech 4: Persuasive Speech (20%)

In this speech, you will take a side in the debate around the issue you researched for your informative speech. Your goal in this speech is to convince us to agree with a course of action. There will be a 1-2 minute question and answer session after your speech during which you will entertain questions and counterarguments from the audience. (7-9 minutes)

Speech 5: Speech of Praise (10%)

During the final exam period, you will present a short speech in which you praise someone who has had a positive impact on your life. This is a ceremonial, or epideictic, speech, like those given at a wedding, funeral, awards ceremony, etc. You will make a case about this person’s praiseworthy qualities by presenting examples from his/her life. (3-5 minutes)

On-Line Discussion, Exercises, and Quizzes (30%)

Each week in our class we cover 2 units, laid out in the Module section of Canvas. Each Unit has various graded exercises and discussions which cover course material. All materials are due on the date indicated on the course schedule. Except in extreme circumstances, no late work will be accepted.

Participation (10%)

In addition to contributing compelling speeches on the assigned speech days, you are expected to contribute thoughtful criticism after your peers’ speeches and during class discussion. Please remember: attendance is required at all in-person class sessions and absence and lateness penalties will affect your grade.


Your grades will be based on how well you demonstrate what you have learned in this class through your completed assignments and participation. The following is an explanation of grades you can earn in this class:

A (90 - 100) = Exceeds requirements of the assignment/course. The student critically, creatively, and fully engages the course material in a way that demonstrates that she/he understands and can apply the concepts. Written work is extremely well-composed and concise.

B (80 - 89) = Meets and, at times, exceeds the requirements of the assignment/course. In general, the student demonstrates a clear understanding of the course concepts. Written work is fairly well-composed but there may be some unclear or awkward moments.

C (70 - 79) = Meets the basic requirements of the assignment/course. The student demonstrates a minimum understanding of major concepts but may be unclear at times. Written work is acceptable but has errors and instances of ineffective communication.

D (60 - 69) = Fails to meet some of the basic requirements of the assignment/course. A minimum understanding of course concepts is not evident. Written work is somewhat poor.

F (0 - 59) = Does not meet the basic requirements of the assignments/course. A minimum understanding of the course concepts is not evident. Written work is very poor. 

Note on Appealing Grades

If at any point in the course you wish to discuss a grade on an assignment, you need to contact me through the Canvas messaging system as soon as possible. After the last day of class, if you wish to appeal your final grade, you must make an appointment with your advisor, or the English Department Chair. I will only discuss final grades in a formal meeting with a CCP advisor or department chair present.

Withdrawal Policy

The last date to withdraw from your courses is 6/18/18. Though you won’t earn an F if you withdraw, before you decide to withdraw from this course or any other course, think about the following information:

  • The W will be reflected on your transcript permanently.
  • Ws on transcripts may have a negative impact on acceptance into select programs.
  • Transfer institutions may view Ws negatively, and it may go against your application.
  • Your financial aid may be impacted.

Please discuss your options with your instructor or an advisor/counselor before you decide to withdraw from a course.


Course Schedule

Note: Readings, PowerPoints & external links for each week are indicated in the Unit descriptions are expected to be completed by the in-person session. 

Week 1: Public Speaking Foundations (5/14-5/17)

  • In-Person Session Tuesday 5/15: Speech 1 “Self-Introduction” (we will complete this in class)
  • Due this week online:
    • Syllabus Quiz due 5/17
    • Graded Discussion due 5/17

Week 2: The Mechanics of Public Speaking (5/21-5/24)

  • In-Person Session Tuesday 5/22: Speech 2 “Demonstration Speech”         
  • Due this week online:
    • Speech 2 outlines due 5/22 - outlines must be submitted before the in-person class session
    • Research Topic Quiz due 5/24

Week 3: Research for Public Speaking (5/28-5/31)

  • In-Person Session Tuesday 5/29: Research Seminar (location TBA)          
  • Due this week online:
    • Speech 2 Extra Credit: Self-Evaluation due 5/28
    • Exercise: Informative speech Analysis due 5/31
    • Graded Group Discussion: Focus Group due 5/31

Week 4: Informative Speeches (6/4-6/7)

  • In-Person Session Tuesday 6/5: Speech 3 “Informative Speech” Group A
  • Due this week online:
    • Speech 3 Outlines and Works Cited due 6/5

Week 5: Speaking Ethically (6/11-6/14)

  • In-Person Session Tuesday 6/12: Speech 3 “Informative Speech” Group B
  • Due this week online:
    • Graded Discussion: Ethics & Credibility due 6/14

 Week 6: Persuasive Speeches (6/18-6/21)

  • In-Person Session Tuesday 6/19: Speech 4 “Persuasive Speech” Group A
  • Due this week online:
    • Speech 4 Outlines and Works Cited due 6/19
    • Extra Credit Discussion due 6/21

Week 7: Wrap-Up (6/25-6/26 & Exam Day)

  • In-Person Session Tuesday 6/26: Speech 4 “Persuasive Speech” Group B
  • Due this week online:
    • Speech 5 Outlines 6/28
    • Speech 5 video 6/28





Course Summary:

Date Details Due