1113 Unit 4: Getting Started

Unit 4 Speech Planning: Getting Started

Getting Started: 

  • Reflect on Units 1-3 and the research and work you have done, thus far. Here’s a reminder of the major essay prompts:
    • Unit 1 (Personal Values): What is a value of importance to you? What experiences in your life have shaped your value?
    • Unit 2 (Values of those we disagree with): Choose a text that takes a position on a sociopolitical issue, that you disagree with in some way. What are the values behind the position in the text? 
    • Unit 3 (Group Values): Choose a group you might be interested in joining, that engages with a sociopolitical issue. What shared value(s) does the group enact through their activites and services?
  • Think about meaningful learning moments specific to this class. Choose one thing you learned, in relation to the course content. Then, begin planning a speech that discusses that learning moment in more detail. You can use examples from any, or all, of the work you have already completed. 

Questions to ask yourself while reflecting:

  • What did I take away from each of the three major projects?
    • “In Unit 1, I learned the importance of….”
    • “In Unit 2, I learned the importance of…”
    • “In Unit 3, I learned the importance of…”
  • Is there any overall learning moment (or concept) that summarizes all the projects?? 
    • Your meaningful learning moment will be your thesis–so if you plan to talk about all three projects in your speech, then your learning moment will need to summarize what you took away from them all, in a concise way. 

Examples of topics from past students: 

“A meaningful concept that I will take away from this class is….”

  • The importance of analyzing values 
    • They are shaped by someone’s experiences
    • Understanding our personal reasons for holding the values we do might help us to better understand why others hold the values they do
    • They should be enacted, not just something we claim to have
    • In a world divided, values might provide common ground from which more meaningful dialogue can take place
    • Understanding someone’s values might help us to better understand why they feel the way they do about complicated social or political issues
    • People with shared values can perform great services to their communities
  • The importance of analyzing the way people use rhetoric, and language, in order to achieve a goal.
    • We define things in different ways (can’t assume everyone has the same definition of a word as we do)
    • In order to better understand a topic, we have to analyze it in context and read beneath the surface
    • It’s important to closely read or analyze a text because misleading information can be dangerous in a polarized society. 
  • It’s important to listen in order to understand, instead of argue. We can’t begin the work of persuasion until we have first listened and tried to understand various perspectives. 
  • Sociopolitical issues are complicated and often cannot be reduced to binary positions. 
  • Researching sociopolitical issues is important for a deeper understanding of where we stand. And where others stand. And learning how we can come together to enact meaningful change, when needed. 
  • A person’s worldview can play a major role in their beliefs about sociopolitical issues. 

Once you know the concept, or learning moment, that you want to talk about, you have a thesis. Then, you will review your previous work to identify which examples you want to use in the body of your speech. You may bring in additional examples, if you’d like, but most students use the work they have already completed. Keep the time limits in mind as you plan which examples to use. You can’t talk about all the work you’ve done this semester, so you’ll need to really plan out which ideas are most useful. 

Remember your audience–your classmates–and tailor your writing to them. After you’ve spent some time noting ideas and reflecting on the past assignments, you can use the Outline template and sample outline to begin working on one of your own. 

Finally–keep in mind that you are NOT trying to persuade your audience on a sociopolitical issue. You are ONLY speaking about a learning concept or moment that you are taking away from the class. 

Copyright, 2022, Lamanda Beesley Conrad

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