El Camino College

Speech Four:  Argumentation and Debate

Speech 4
Dr. Mark Crossman


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Goals and Pedagogy

This course attempts to develop your understanding of public argument and to increase your ability to effectively deliver and respond to arguments.  Parliamentary debate will be the model utilized to explore a variety of argumentation theories.  There is a research component to this course.  You will be required to utilize research, critical thinking, and general speaking skills. You will be required to work with partners on the debates.  While this course offers many of the vocational benefits of Speech Communication One, it is substantially more theoretical.  There are no actual/hard prerequisites for this course.  I will, however, be evaluating your delivery during the debate assignments.  Consequently, I must be able to clearly understand you. Students who are having major challenges with articulation are strongly encouraged to take Speech Seven (voice and articulation) before attempting this course. 

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Required Text

Crossman (2006) Burden of Proof: An Introduction to Argument and Guide to Parliamentary Debate.  Thomson.  Third Edition With Info Trac Bundle.

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Assignment Values

3 Quizes: 30 points (10 each)

Lincoln/Douglas Debate and brief: 10 points

Fact/Value Debate: 15 Points

Policy Debate: 15 points

Metaphor Debate 5 points

Argumentation Journal: 10 Points

Final: 15 points

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Wk                               Activity/Lecture                                                            Readings

1                      Introduction to Argumentation                                 Ch. 1

                        Discuss the course and argumentation                    Ch. 2



2                      Toulmin                                                                 Ch. 2

                        Assign L-D Debate


3                      Fallacies/Quiz/Delivery                                           Ch. 3,9

4                      L-D Debates                                                                      5                      L-D Debates  

6                      Discuss Fact Value Debates/Assign Topics             Ch. 4

7                      Discuss Fact Value Debates/Refutatio                     Ch.6, 8

8                      Discuss Fact Value Debates/Fact Value Debates

9                      Fact Value Debates

10                      Fact Value Debates

11                     Midterm/ Debating Policies, Topics                         Ch.7

12                     Debating Policies                                                    Ch.7    

13                     Policy Debates

14                     Policy Debates

15                     Metaphor Debates

16                     Metaphor Debates/Final/Journal Due

Classroom Policies

Attendance:  You get three free class periods.  Each subsequent absence will result in a five point deduction from your grade (roughly half a letter grade).  If you are going to be absent for an extended period of time, this is not the semester to take this course.  If you are going to drop the class, be sure to do it yourself. If you just stop showing up, you will receive an F in the course-you must initiate the drop.

Be prepared to speak on the day assigned to you-I typically don’t do make ups. If you miss an assigned debate day, and it is convenient for me to work you back into the schedule, it will cost you five points to do the make up.

Tardiness is annoying-if you are going to be excessively late, this isn't the place to be.  If you are more than 10 minutes late, you will not get credit for attending that day.

Cell Phones:  If for some reason you must carry a cell phone, be sure that you keep it off in class.

Tolerance/Civilized Behavior:  There will be times in this course that you will disagree with the opinions being expressed.  It is important that your response to that opinion be voiced in a professional, appropriate manner. I encourage the open exchange of ideas.  Learning to understand what is and what isn't appropriate to say in an academic environment is part of this class.

Special needs: individuals requiring accommodation under the A.D.A. must seek accommodations prior to the precipitating event.

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El Camino College, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, California 90506
Phone: 310-532-3670 Toll Free: 1-866-ELCAMINO (1-866-352-2646)