Public Communication Syllabus
M-W-F, 8-8:50 am
Your Host: Mr. B (Steve Beverly)
Office Phone: 5380 | Home: (901) 783-5295
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Important Instructor Websites
Mr. B's Home Page
The UBS Page
If this is your first college course, you
are experiencing among the first of your syllabi which
have the obligatory "course objectives." Most of them
are designed in complex language to tell you how much
better you will be as a human being for all of the
knowledge you will soak up in the course.
Let's say it plainly, straight, and to the point: you
will learn how to build your confidence here. You'll
speak before your peers (and me) four times, learn how
to analyze a speech, and be exposed to some exercises
in better listening skills. Some of you need to have
your nerves bolstered because you aren't comfortable
with this format. Let's look at it this way----no
matter what you do for your career, you will have to make
presentations before people. We may as well learn how
to do it among friends here.
- Read your textbook when chapters are
assigned. College students don't like to do that today.
But how can I say it any more specifically? You can't do
well on exams or keep up with concepts if you don't read
daily as assigned. Either read it or weep.
- Access to a computer with internet access---either
your own, or one in the computer lab or library. You
will be expected to have downloaded and
read assigned online material. You will click in at
and click the link Public Communication. I will
post material there regularly, as well as your grades
on exams (under confidential nicknames).
Now that you are in college, you are beyond the
coddling stage and either you will come to class
prepared to discuss practical applications
of your day's subject matter, or the entire class will have to do
Riverdance for the remainder of the 50 minutes.
Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT come to class and
complain to me, "Mr. B, I couldn't get through to the
website. Servers do go down, but usually the fault is
the part of the student who will try one or two times
for five minutes and then never again before coming to
class. Be persistent at different intervals if you
cannot make a web connection the first or second time
after an assignment is made.
Your readings will be assigned as daily episodes.
You will be expected to download them by number assigned
on a specific day to be prepared for the next class
session. Get used to this. This will be the wave of the
future in the classroom.
- Note Cards: The 5x7, 4x6, or 3x5 will be
acceptable. But you must use note cards for your
speeches---not full sheets of notebook paper. This is
the professional method for public speaking and we will
abide by it. Anything other than note cards results in
a one letter-grade penalty off the top.
- Tests: 3 of them, 100 points each. Final exam, 200.
Test dates will be posted in a separate online page next week.
No, I don't make up tests for absences on the day a test
is given or a project is due, unless it is a university-approved
absence and documentation is given. No matter how much
I like you and your family.
- Speeches: 4 of them: two informative, one
persuasive, one demonstration. Dates will be set aside
over a four-class day period to complete them. Order
will be determined by Mr. B. Attendance policy will
be a major factor in this area.
- Grades: You'll get some. The numbers:
94-100 (A), 86-93 (B), 75-85 (C),
65-74 (D), Below 65 (lovely parting gifts of Turtle Wax
and Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat).. Don't even
come to my office and tell me, "I need an 'A,' Mr. B."
I need $100,000 but Dr. Dockery isn't going to give it
to me because I go up to him and tell him I need it.
You'll get and "A" if you make one. My charitable giving
and community service ends in my gradebook. You will receive
what you make---plain and simple!
- Papers: You'll do one. You'll be assigned
a speech to listen to and then be required to do a written
critique of the speech. You'll have a sample to show
you how. Worth 100 points.
- Bonus: You will be responsible for filling the
audience for I've Heard That Song!,
Tennessee's favorite musical game show which we produce
here at Union, in April (the 26th, to be exact) for
bonus points on the final exam. Those are always good bonus points and the easiest points
you'll obtain in this class. To be explained later.
- Coffee Breaks: As needed. Particularly if you
nod in class, I will send out for some Folger's for you
because that's the best part of wakin' up---Folger's in
Because we typically have a majority
of first-quarter freshmen in this class, I take great
pains to spell out my attendance policy: BE HERE!
That's for your own good. However, here are some specifics
you will be required to follow as far as attendance:
- Attendance is mandatory on the day of your
assigned speech and all of your classmates' speeches:
In order to simulate the correct circumstances of public
speaking, we have to have an audience for all speeches.
None of this giving yours on the first day and sitting
out the other three. Therefore, you will be automatically
deducted one letter grade on your speech for all unexcused
absences on days of speeches.
- You are expected to bring documentation of absences
due to illness or funerals: Hate to be strict, gang,
but too many before you have abused the rule. I've heard
every excuse in the book and you can't invent one. If you
can't prove it, it isn't excused. If you go on a university-approved
trip, Dr. Sanderson's office will inform me. If you're
sick or have a legitimate family emergency, I expect to
hear from you as close to the day of your illness or
emergency as possible. My phone is listed here, home
and office, and my e-mail address is available. You can
also send word to me through friends. I do not accept
excuses one week late when I have not heard from you. It
is your responsibility to inform me.
- Weddings, traffic court, and subpoenas are not
excused absences: On the former, too many students
suddenly "remember I have a wedding this weekend," when
it falls on the date of a speech or exam. Your immediate
goal in life should be to have more honesty than the
President of the United States and that doesn't take
much effort. Just don't make up an excuse. The others
Let's quit talking about it and just do it!
And remember....the best music is the Music of Your Life!
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