COMM 100 ASU Speech Writing Delivery & Content Critique Discussion

COMM 100 Hybrid

Spring 2020


You are to write two short essays in response to the following two scenarios and their linked speeches. Please write these essays as a single, separate document. (Be sure it is in Word or RichText.) You will submit this document under the “Final Exam” tab on our class Blackboard site.

ESSAY 1: Can You Help This Lecture? (50 points)

Darren (not his real name) is a medical student who has been invited by a local hospital to present a short (they asked for 5 minutes) lecture to their staff on a topic of his choosing concerning the future of medical care. Darren has chosen the topic “Medical Robots.”

Darren is trying his lecture out in front of a class of fellow medical students. You are a communications consultant who has been brought in to critique Darren’s presentation and offer him advice on improving his lecture before he delivers it at the hospital.

Please write up a detailed and thorough critique of Darren’s lecture. Your critique should cover three areas: 1) The speech content, 2) The delivery of the speech, 3) The PowerPoint visual aid. Please identify what Darren is doing wrong and what he should change to improve it. (Remember you aren’t supposed to know anything about medical robots – you are only critiquing how the speech is put together and delivered.) Each area should be a minimum of two – three paragraphs long, so the entire critique should s ( 3 pages). The choice of the criteria under each area is up to you, but base your critique on the principles we have studied in class. (Hint: You might start by reviewing the critique sheet that was used for the lecture you delivered.)

Remember, this is a critique only – you are only expected to point out what is wrong and help correct it. (Please don’t feel you need to say something nice about the speech. As you will surely guess, this speech was “staged” to be bad to elicit the kind of critique you will give. “Darren” will appreciate your input!)

“Medical Robots”

ESSAY 2: Describe a Heartfelt Tribute (25 points)

It is Oct. 31, 2005, a week after the death of civil rights icon, Rosa Parks. Her memorial service is being held in the Metropolitan AME Church in Washington D.C. You are a reporter for your hometown’s local newspaper and you’ve been sent to Washington to attend the memorial and write a feature article about the ceremony.

Of the many tributes delivered that day, you have decided to write about the eulogy delivered by Oprah Winfrey. (You are not alone. This brief four-minute speech will go on to become one of the most famous and celebrated eulogies in recent times.)

Please write a short (approx. 2 page) article analyzing Oprah’s tribute to Rosa Parks. Begin by describing the structure of Oprah’s eulogy – how it fits (or departs from) the traditional structure of a tribute speech (as we’ve studied in class). What other techniques frequently found in tribute speeches did Oprah use and how well were they executed? Follow this section with a detailed analysis of Oprah’s delivery of the speech. Conclude the article with a personal reflection on your response to the tribute.

The link to the speech below will take you to the American Rhetoric site – which is on our class Blackboard site under “Famous Speeches.” (It is a repository of hundreds of famous speeches.) In addition to providing you with a video of Oprah’s tribute speech, the full text of her speech is also provided for your reference.

“A Eulogy for Rosa Parks”…

To help you with the historical context of this tribute speech, here is a short biographical portrait of Rosa Parks and her place in American history:

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has called her “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake’s order to relinquish her seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, but the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) believed that she was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws. Parks’ prominence in the community and her willingness to become a controversial figure inspired the black community to boycott the Montgomery buses for over a year, the first major direct- action campaign of the post-war civil rights movement. Her case became bogged down in the state courts, but the federal Montgomery bus lawsuit Browder v. Gayle succeeded in November 1956.

Parks’ act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; and Martin Luther King Jr.



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