CMNS 220 - Public Speaking

Summer 2011


Dr. Daniel Makagon                          

Office: 14 E Jackson, #1828

Office Hours: W 9-10 PM

Phone: (312) 362-7979                                  




Course Description


This course provides an introduction to the skills required in a variety of public speaking settings. We will consider units on delivery, language, defining speech purposes and content, finding supporting material, organization, and audience analysis. The course has a dual focus: a theoretical focus on understanding various communication processes and a practical focus on enacting these procedures in speaking assignments. Students will be expected to (1) demonstrate a clear understanding of the concepts and practices associated with communication (through essays, the preparation of presentation evaluations, and in-class assignments), and (2) prepare and deliver presentations in accordance with the principles of communication as presented in lectures and reading materials. Background in basic writing and library skills is necessary.


This course is included in the Self Society and Modern World (SSMW) Learning Domain.



Required Materials


All course readings and assignment descriptions are available on-line. Download and print the files.



Course Assignments



**Credit/No Credit Assignments                    10%                             ____(pts.) X .10 = ______


2 Self Evaluation Papers (1-2 pages each)       10%                            ____(pts.) X .10 = ______


Introduction Speech (2-4 minutes)                  10%                             ____(pts.) X .10 = ______


Informative Speech (3-5 minutes)                   30%                             ____(pts.) X .30 = ______


Persuasive Speech (4-6 minutes—or 5-7)       40%                             ____(pts.) X .40 = ______



                                                                                                            Final Grade= ____________


** Credit/no credit speaking and written assignments and class exercises will be counted toward a total grade in the course. Students will earn a percentage grade equal to the percentage of credit/no credit assignments they complete in a satisfactory manner.

Course Policies


Promptness is expected as a general rule. If you are consistently late to class, your grade will be negatively affected.


Attendance and Active Participation are expected and required. You are allowed one (1) unexcused absence in this class and two absences total if at least one of those absences is excused. An excused absence is documented in terms of medical illness/emergency, family illness/emergency, required by a court of law, a religious holiday, or university business. If you miss more than two class sessions with excused absences, or if you have more than one unexcused absence, you will receive an "F' in the class (even if the absences are excused). Missing this many class sessions (more than 20% of the term) undermines the integrity of the classroom experience. If you miss this much class because of illness or a family emergency, you should meet with the Dean of Students to discuss withdrawal options.


All assignments are due on assigned days. There will be NO MAKE UPS. Documented illnesses or documented emergencies are the only exception to this policy. Changes in work schedules, personal celebrations (e.g., birthdays), or vacations are NOT considered to be legitimate reasons for missing assignment deadlines or class meetings. If you miss a speech and have documentation for your absence then you will deliver the speech the next date you attend class. Similarly, if you have an excused absence for a class session when you would turn in a paper then you can give me the paper on the next date you attend class.


I do not accept electronic copies of papers or speech outlines. Hard copies of papers and speech outlines must be turned in when the class session begins. Speeches must be presented during allotted speech times.


Students with disabilities should provide me with documentation from the Office of Students with Disabilities.


Cellular Phones: If you have a cellular phone or pager, turn it off or set it to vibrate, and keep it in your backpack or purse. All cell phones must be put away during the class session. I will confiscate cellular phones for the remainder of the class session if you are sending or reading text messages or using your phone to check email/surf the Internet.


Constructive feedback to other speakers is a responsibility of all class members. This entails being honest and helpful in evaluations, using descriptive rather than prescriptive language, and accompanying negative comments with ways to improve.


E-mail: I often send e-mail announcements to the class. You need to (1) make sure your preferred email address in Campus Connect is the address you check regularly so messages do not bounce back and (2) make sure my email address will pass through your spam filter.





I have often found that plagiarism becomes tempting if students are feeling pressured. Remember, when in doubt quote. If you are quoting someone else in your speech, you need to clearly identify the information as a quote and the source. Similarly, when paraphrasing, you should clearly identify your source. If you are quoting somebody directly in your paper then you need to list the information within quotation marks and cite a page number. If you are paraphrasing then you need to cite the person and a page number. Never copy and paste entire documents into your paper and do not quote others to the point where your ideas become indistinguishable from your source's ideas. There is no reason to plagiarize given the resources available to you (e.g., opportunities to meet with me; coaches in the writing center; my handout on writing for the class; and DePaul’s policy on academic integrity, which can be found at If you do plagiarize, you will automatically receive a grade of “F” in this class. Moreover, the Academic Affairs office will be contacted.


Grade Scale: A = 93-100, A- = 90-92, B+ = 88-89, B = 83-87, B- = 80-82, C+ = 78-79, C = 73-77,

C- = 70-72, D = 60-69, F = 0-59 (I do not assign incompletes)


Tentative Course Schedule


DATE             CONTENT                  


6/13                Course Introduction  

                        Discuss Introductory Speech


6/15                Outlines: Speech topics, purposes, theses (Required Reading)

                       Speech Delivery     and      Communication Apprehension                                  


6/20                 Introductory Speeches


6/22                 Discuss Informative Speech (Print assignment sheet)

                        Audience Analysis (Recommended Reading in folder)    


                        Paper #1 Due                       


6/27                 Connectives     (Required Reading)                                               

                        Support Material (Recommended Reading in folder)                                                      


6/29                Informative Speeches


7/4                   No class—4th of July holiday


7/6                   Discuss Persuasive Speech (Print assignment sheet)

                        Persuasive Speaking/Reasoning/Ethics

                        Visual Aids      (Recommended Reading in folder)

                        Paper #2 Due                                   


7/11                 Persuasive Speeches

7/13                 Persuasive Speeches