Communication Arts I develops the writing and speaking processes that
will empower you as students, as professionals in your careers, and
as citizens in your communities. The course includes writing four essays
that are revised through multiple drafts and carefully edited before
submission. At least three oral presentations are made in the course
of the semester.
Communication scholars and researchers have increasingly emphasized
the importance of four key elements in communication instruction: first-hand
experience, addressing real audiences, reflective assessment, and community
building within the classroom, the university, and the world. The individual
and group assignments in Communication Arts will help you develop responsibility
for your own learning and personal integrity in both the classroom and
the community. As engaged citizens, your writing and speaking can and
should make a difference.
1. Distinguish between oral and written styles and adapt both oral and
written messages for specific audiences and purposes.
2. Prepare written and oral communication assignments via a process
approach through rhetorical invention, drafting or delivering, and revision.
3. Develop a clear focus in assignments, organize and support ideas
effectively, use vivid language, and demonstrate clarity and correctness.
4. Select, evaluate, and document sources through primary and secondary
5. Interpret and analyze ideas through critical reading and listening.
6. Demonstrate social responsibility through engagement with critical
Texts and Materials:
• Richard Bullock & Maureen Daly Goggin The Norton Field
Guide to Writing
• Jane E. Aaron The Little Brown Compact Handbook w/exercises
• Steven A. & Susan J. Beebe A Concise Public Speaking
• MySpeechKit online access
• 2 CD’s and Flashdisk and 4x6 note cards for speeches
Diagnostic Essay 5%
Personal Narrative Speech 10%
Personal Narrative Essay 10%
Source Evaluation 10%
Status Briefing 5%
Arguing a Position Essay 20%
Position Speech 15%
You can access your grades through the online
grade book in Vista. Please keep a running total of your grades
for yourself in case I miscalculate or there is a technical difficulty
with the grade book, and always double check to see that the grade I
return to you is the same one posted online.
A = 93-100
A- = 90-92
B+ = 87-89
B = 83-86
B- = 80-82
C+ = 77-79
C = 73-76
C- = 70-72
D+ = 67-69
D = 63-66
D- = 60-62
F = below 60
Midterm grades of satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) progress will
be posted via Vista.
Guidelines for Assignment Submission:
All submissions are due at the beginning of the class period on the
day specified on the syllabus. Late writing assignments will be docked
10% per day late. Late speeches are not accepted unless permission has
been granted by instructor prior to due date. Students will not be given
extra credit assignments or allowed to make up work that they have missed
due to absence other than that incurred for University business. Final
papers must be submitted in hard copy with all preliminary materials
(including drafts, peer reviews, and self evaluations) and just final
papers must be submitted electronically via .doc or .rtf attachment
to email@example.com. All submissions must be original with sources
clearly and correctly documented. Work previously submitted for other
courses is not accepted. Any student who represents the work of another
as his or her own is guilty of plagiarism and will be subject to the
penalties outlined in The
Student Handbook, including failure in the course and suspension
from the University.
Since a workshop depends on your active participation, you should attend
every class meeting. Students who miss more than two weeks of class
(4 for TTh; 6 for MWF) will receive an FA (failure due to absences)
for the course. Students who must be absent due to University business
should notify the teacher early in the course. Arriving late or leaving
early from a class is disruptive; three tardies/early exits will be
considered the equivalent of an absence. Students who come to class
unprepared may be dismissed by the teacher and such dismissal will be
counted as an absence. Students are required to complete all major assignments
and to attend at least two scheduled conferences with instructor to
receive credit for the course.
In addition to attending class, you are also expected to contribute
class discussions and participate in workshop sessions with your peers.
Learning is not a solitary process, but one that necessarily involves
others and I thus consider class participation a very important part
of achieving this class’s goals.
Language–how it is used and what is implies–plays a crucial
role in Samford University’s mission “to nurture persons.”
Because verbal constructions create realities, inclusive language can
uphold or affirm those whom we seek to nurture, while exclusive language
can damage or defeat them. We therefore actively seek a discourse in
our university community that supports the equal dignity and participation
of men and women; we seek to avoid verbal constructions that diminish
the equal dignity of all persons. It is an affirmative–and affirming–part
of our mission to educate students, staff, and faculty in the creation
of a community of equality and respect through language.
Because class participation relies heavily on individuals feeling comfortable
expressing their opinions, you must always show respect for the diversity
of opinions expressed in this class. You must also demonstrate respect
for gender, racial, class, and ethnic differences among your colleagues
Outside of Class (Email and web page): E-mail is an
official means of communication according to the Student Handbook. You
are responsible for reading your Samford e-mail daily. Also, you will
want to check (and refresh) our class web page daily, particularly the
Students are required to earn a C- or better in order to receive credit
for UCCA 101 and UCCA 102.
Communication Resource Center:
The Communication Resource Center is located in Brooks 222. The Center
is a free service that provides help with all phases of writing and
speaking. Drop in during the posted hours or call ext. 2137 to make
Students with Disabilities:
Samford University complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students with disabilities
who seek accommodations must make their request through the Advisor
for Students with Disabilities (726-4078, 726-2105), located in Counseling
Services on the lower level of Pittman Hall. A faculty member will only
grant reasonable accommodations upon notification from the Advisor for
Students with Disabilities.
Quizzes/In-class Writing Assignments:
1. The selections from The Norton Field Guide to Writing and any other
required readings are to serve as a catalyst for class discussion and
your own essay writing.
2. Reading quizzes and/or in-class writing assignments may be given
to monitor your reading and comprehension.
3. To prepare for quizzes and writing assignments, you should locate
the thesis of each reading and the strongest supporting points. Annotate
in your text. You can respond to the reading by answering the “Engaging
with the Text” questions in the NFG, as well as any additional
questions given in class.
General Instructions for Written Assignments:
1. All essays must be typed.
2. All rough drafts for peer review must be typed.
3. Use the MLA guidelines found in The Little Brown Handbook.
4. Use Times New Roman 12-point font.
5. Drafts of your essay should have your name, course & section,
type of assignment, and date in the upper left-hand corner of the first
page of essay. No cover sheet is required.
6. All essays should be titled.
7. Any invention work, photocopies of source materials, peer review
sheets, and preliminary drafts should be included with the final hard
copy in a pocket folder.
8. Submit essays on time.
9. Final drafts of essays must be submitted electronically as a .doc
or .rtf attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org before the class period the
assignment is due, AS WELL AS submitted as a hard copy at the beginning
of class the day it is due.
1. Diagnostic Essay on Connections topic (5%)
2. Speech #1 Personal Narrative (10%)
For this first speech, you will write a speech that conveys your literacy
3. Essay #1 Personal Narrative (10%)
You will transfer your oral speech into a written literacy narrative
essay. Informal but directed, this essay includes the first person voice.
4. Essay #2 Source Evaluation & Annotated Bibliography (10%)
This assignment requires use of the third-person, objective voice and
includes an annotated bibliography. Emphasis is on the distinction between
primary and secondary sources and online and print sources. The Annotated
Bibliography evaluates the body of research the student has found discussing
the chosen topic. The Source Evaluation analyzes one of the sources
from the bibliography and shows connections between it and the other
sources. It discusses the research and findings but does not yet take
a position on the topic.
5. Speech #2 Status Briefing (5%)
Each student will report on his or her chosen topic, the sources located
and the research process.
6. Essay #3 Arguing a Position (20%)
This essay builds on the research of the previous assignment and takes
a position. It combines the strengths of writing skills learned through
the personal narrative assignment and at the same time incorporates
objective sources. Emphasis is on textual analysis and use of logic.
The highest standards of academic writing – grammatical correctness
and stylistic polish – apply.
7. Speech #3 Persuasive Speech (15%)
This speech’s emphasis is on clarity, logic, and appeal. Your
peer audience will respond to your speech by writing down possible objections
to your position, as well as ideas which you should take into account
before revising the position for the next essay.
8. Essay #4 Reflection (15%)
This assignment underscores the importance of writing as a process as
you will substantially revise the third essay based on instructor and
peer feedback. The revision includes a brief Reflection piece on the
9. Daily Grades – Quizzes, Activities, HW, In-class Writing,
and Participation/Professionalism (10%)
Here is the brief, general rubric for grades:
You did what the assignment asked for at a high quality level, and your
work shows originality and creativity. Work in this range shows all
the qualities listed below for a B, but it also demonstrates that you
took extra steps to be original or creative in developing content, solving
a problem, or developing a style. Since careful editing and proofreading
are essential in writing, papers in the A range must be free of typos
and grammatical or mechanical errors.
You did what the assignment asked of you at a high quality level. Work
in this range needs revision; however it is complete in content, is
organized well, and shows special attention to style.
You did what the assignment asked of you. Work in this range needs significant
revision, but it is mostly complete in content and there is an attempt
at organization. The style is straightforward but unremarkable.
You did what the assignment asked of you at a poor quality level. Work
in this range needs significant revision. The content is often incomplete
and the organization is hard to discern. Attention to style is often
nonexistent or chaotic.
If your work is shoddy and does not fulfill the assignment, you will
receive a failing grade.