This course requires you to present a persuasive speech to an audience of three or more adults. You must use a camcorder to record the presentation. After recording the presentation, you must download it from your camcorder onto your computer and then upload it onto YouTube.* To do this, you will need to set up a free YouTube account, if you do not already have one. After uploading a speech file to YouTube, you must submit the uploaded speech’s URL link ( . . .) to your professor via the designated Blackboard submission link so he/she can access and grade it. Your grade for the speech will be determined by the degree to which it satisfies the requirements listed below.
This assignment requires you to research a global, national, regional, state or local problem that apparently exists because humans in general or a specific group of humans are neglecting their duty to promote the things God values in this world. (See the Alban text, chapter 5 for more about the things God values.)

• The problem may be political, economic, educational, environmental, medical, religious, or cultural. It may be a false belief or set of beliefs (about God, nature, or other people) that needs correction, a wrongful attitude or type of attitude (toward God, nature, or other people) that needs adjustment, a neglectful or wrong way of acting (toward God, nature, or other people) that needs to change, or a state of needfulness or brokenness that exists as it does because of human indifference or inactivity.

• The problem must be a social one—a problem, that is, that deters many individuals, not just a few isolated lives, from experiencing life as God, according to His Word, meant it to be experienced when He created us.

Among the social issues that could generate a qualified speech topic are the following:

abortion, infanticide, or euthanasia discrimination (racism, sexism, ageism)
abuse (child, elder, self, spousal) ecology (climate change, pollution, littering)
addictions/codependency/eating disorders education (underachievement or illiteracy)
air, land, or water pollution famine, drought or diseases
animal abuse or vivisection labor issues (child labor or sweatshops)
bioethics (cloning, eugenics, stem cell research) marriage (divorce, cohabitation)
birth or population control poverty (world hunger or homelessness)
crime (street, juvenile, gang, or white collar) sex (pre-marital, extramarital, homosexual)
criminal justice (prison crowding, recidivism) slavery or human trafficking

The following sites may be helpful for discovering or exploring these and other qualified topics:

Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity The Heritage Foundation
Family Research Council The Rutherford Institute
The American Enterprise Institute The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life
The Discovery Institute

Speech Goals: Because this is an persuasive speech—a speech in which you try to persuade the audience to believe or value something or to act in a specific way (see the Hamilton text, chapter 12, for more about this)—and because you are to use this particular speech to advocate a redemptive solution to a social problem (see the Alban text, chapter 5, for more about this), your goal in this presentation is to use information from appropriately credited expert sources in two ways

(1) To identify the social problem and to establish, with information from credible sources, that it exists somewhere in the world, and
(2) To prescribe a redemptive remedy for the problem—a remedy that, if implemented by someone or a group of someones, would promote something that God, according to Scripture, values and that, if implemented, could help somebody experience life as God, according to His Word, meant it to be experienced. For a helpful but inexhaustive list of things God values and corresponding Biblical prooftexts, see the Alban text, chapter 5.

Examples: In such a speech, you might use information from documented expert sources to establish that abortions claimed 630 lives in your home county last year, then use Scripture to argue that God values human life, including preborn human life, and argue in the light of this that the county must take three specific steps, described by you, to eliminate or diminish the frequency of abortion in the county. You might also use information from documented expert sources to establish that the federal government authorizes the use of a certain chemical in the treatment of drinking water and that credible research from sources A, B, and C indicates this chemical actually causes cancer. You could use Scripture to establish that God wants us to protect the bodies He has given us and given others and then argue, in the light of this, that the federal government must take steps to protect our bodies by banning the chemical from use in the treatment of drinking water.

As you promote something God values (e.g., life, quality of life, creation care, etc.) through this speech, be sure you do not condone or promote something God’s Word discourages or prohibits (e.g., fornication, adultery, homosexuality). After all, a solution is redemptive only if it promotes something that God values, according to Scripture. If you are uncertain whether your proposed solution to a social problem satisfies this standard, discuss this in advance of the project’s deadline with your professor.
Other Topic Criteria: Your topic must satisfy not only the preceding criteria, but also the topic selection criteria set forth in the Hamilton text and the prescriptions of the Liberty University Online Honor Code. Among other things, this means you must do the following:

• Topic Appropriateness: Avoid any topic that leads you to portray legally or ethically questionable texts or behaviors in a favorable light. This includes but is not limited to theses that advance sexually promiscuous activity, the use of illegal substances, or other behaviors that Liberty University’s statement of values prohibits. Questions about the appropriateness of topics, sources, etc. should be directed to your professor early in the speech-planning process.

• Topic Originality: Your speech topics MUST be researched, selected, and delivered primarily for this course and not primarily for, or in conjunction with, a presentation for a church group, a Sunday School class, a social group, or any other small group. You may not give a speech that serves a double purpose.

• Topic Grading Criteria: Finally, you must choose a topic that enables you to construct the speech in a way that satisfies the specific requirements of the Informative Speech Grading Rubric, which lists the criteria that your professor will use when grading your presentation.

Research, Organization, and Outlining:

Basic Requirements: For your persuasive speech, you are required to:

(1) Research credible sources for information about your topic
(2) Form a thesis (a statement that argues for a position) for your speech in the light of what your research discloses
(3) Express this thesis as a complete thought in a single-sentence, declarative thesis statement
(4) Choose the information from your research that most powerfully delivers the type of information that this thesis statement requires
(5) Present this information in a logically sequenced outline of properly documented main points, sub-points, and perhaps even sub-sub-points, using the Informative Speech Outline Template document as your formatting guide. Your outline, in its final form, will serve as the blueprint that you mentally must follow while extemporaneously delivering the recorded speech to your audience.

Research Requirements: For your persuasive speech, you are required to:

• Use Four Expert Sources: You must use and explicitly cite supportive material (examples, illustrations, statistics, quotations from experts, etc) from at least four expert sources in this project. An expert source is a person, group of persons, or organization with documentable expertise in the area it addresses. Information from such sources typically derives from personal interviews with credentialed experts or from documentable print and/or electronic publications (see the Hamilton text, chapter 6, for more about this).

• The Bible as an Expert Source: While you may, of course, use the Bible as a source when related to your topic, it must be in addition to the four required sources.

• The Alban Text as an Expert Source: The third section of the Alban text and the U.S. Government’s Occupational Outlook Index count as one of your four sources, not as two separate sources.

• Non-Expert Sources: Never use information from anonymous or questionable sources, such as Wikipedia or any printed source authored by someone whose credentials for addressing the topic are not clearly established.

• Liberty University Database Source Options: It behooves you to consult the Liberty University library’s research portal* for access to many potentially useful, credible databases.

Organization and Outlining Requirements:

Topical Sequencing Required: You must use the Problem-Solution, Problem-Cause-Solution, or Motivated Sequence organizational patterns for addressing your topic (see the Hamilton text, chapter 7, for more about this).

The Draft and the Final Outlines: The speech outline submission process involves two stages— (1) the submission of an ungraded draft outline, in MS-Word format, at the end of Module/Week 4 and (2) a graded revised final outline, also in MS-Word format, at the end of Module/Week 6. After reviewing your draft outline, your professor will post constructive feedback that you must heed as you must assimilate as you compose the revised final outline. The draft outline and the revised final outline must be submitted via the designated Blackboard submission links.

Use the Outline Template: You also must use the Persuasive Speech Outline Template document as a guide for constructing your speech outline. Retain its formatting. Provide information for each of its categories—an audience description, its organizational pattern, purpose statement, etc. Include a clearly distinguished introduction, body, and conclusion section.

Outline Parts:

• The introduction must list, in order, your attention-getter, credibility statement, thesis statement, and preview statement.

• The body must include two to five main points, each with supportive subpoints and perhaps even sub-subpoints, consisting mainly of documented examples, illustrations, statistics, quotations from experts, etc. that you have derived from the four or more expert sources that this project requires.

• The conclusion must include a summary statement, a call to action, and a concluding element that refocuses the audience’s attention on the thesis.

• The Works Cited (MLA), Reference page (APA), or Bibliography (Turabian) page must properly credit your sources and must do so in the format prescribed by MLA, APA, or Turabian style to format.

Document Your Sources Properly:

• In-Text and End-Page Citations: Whether you directly quote, summarize, or paraphrase it, any information that you present in your outline and in the speech itself must be explicitly attributed to the source from which you derived it. This requires you to use parenthetical citations or footnotes in the outline itself to show which information derives from which expert source. This also requires you to list the same sources on a Works Cited (MLA), Reference (APA), or Bibliography page (Turabian) in the format prescribed by the style manual for this project that you choose. Failure to cite sources is tantamount to plagiarism, a serious offense that can result in automatic failure of an assignment and possibly of the course.

• Use Direct Quotes Sparingly: If you include directly quoted material from another source in your outline, it must account for no more than 20 percent of the outline’s content.

• Offset Direct Quotes with Quotation Marks: You must place the directly quoted material inside double-quotation marks to make it clear that you are not claiming to be the originator of the quotation’s wording. Failure to use double-quotation marks to offset directly quoted material constitutes plagiarism is a serious academic offense that results in automatic failure of the assignment or automatic failure of the course (see the Liberty University Honor Code for more information about this).

Speech Recording and Submission Process:

You must record and submit your Persuasive Speech Presentation in a manner that satisfies the following requirements. A student’s failure to satisfy these requirements will result in the grading penalties prescribed by the Persuasive Speech Grading Rubric:

1. Basic Speech Delivery Requirements:

• You must use a camcorder to record your speech presentation.

• You must upload your recorded speech presentation to YouTube for the professor to view and to grade.

• Your speech presentation must be 4-6 uninterrupted minutes long.

• You must deliver your speech to a visually documented live audience of three or more adults.

• You must deliver the speech extemporaneously. Your speech delivery must have a natural conversational quality. DO NOT READ YOUR SPEECH. Speeches that appear to the professor to be read will not be accepted.

• You may use notecards for occasional reference during the speech presentation if needed. However, do not let these become a visual distraction.

• If you fail to provide visual documentation of your audience’s presence, or if you read or appear to be reading your speech’s content during your speech delivery, your presentation will will not be graded and will receive the default score of zero.

• You must maintain strong posture, gestures, and eye contact with the audience and you must avoid any visually or aurally distracting mannerisms while speaking.

• You must use an effective volume, pitch, rate, and general vocal delivery during the presentation.

• You must properly use an effectively constructed and presented visual aid during your speech delivery.

2. Digital Camcorder Requirement: The professor needs to hear and see your speech, clearly, in order to assess its presentational qualities and to determine your score for the project. Thus, you must use a digital camcorder to record your speech presentation and a computer to upload it to YouTube for the professor’s viewing. If you do not have a camcorder with uploading capabilities, you can acquire a Flip Video camcorder via MBS, Liberty University Online’s official textbook provider. You could also consider borrowing such a device from a friend, your church, a public library, or other source. Unless you submit the required audio-visual recording of your speeches, you are highly unlikely to complete this course with a passing grade and should consider withdrawing from it.

As a side note, we strongly recommend that you use a tripod or a trustworthy audience member to hold your camcorder to allow for stable video recording.

3. Speech Recording Requirements: Before you record your speech, be sure to practice it in advance, recording it for personal evaluation, if possible, so that you—with help, perhaps, from a friend or two—can determine how to improve the speech’s presentational qualities. Someone in your audience may track the time for you and give you signals to let you know whether you have satisfied the presentation’s time requirement.

• Your speech recording must be unbroken. Do not stop the camera until your presentation is complete! Speech recordings that appear to be interrupted or edited will not be accepted.

• Document your audience first. Your unbroken speech recording must begin by visually documented the required live audience of three or more adults.

• Keep the camera still during the speech. Except when panning the camera from your audience toward the lecturn, the camera must remain in a stationary position and stay focused on the speaker throughout the presentation

• Stand the proper distance from the camera (8-15 feet) while speaking. Your speech must be given from a standing position (unless you have a Liberty University documented handicap that restricts your mobility). If you appear to be standing closer to or farther from the camera than this, your speech may not be graded. A speech apparently delivered from a sitting position in front of a webcam will receive a score of zero.

• Be visible throughout the speech. The top half of your body must be visible throughout the entire speech presentation.

• Your recorded speech must last 4-6 minutes from its first spoken word to its last spoken word. Speeches that exceed or fall short of this will receive point reductions per the terms of the grading rubric.

• Webcams: Although a computer webcam may be used to record a speech in a manner that satisfies the aforementioned requirements, professors will not accept a speech recording in which the speaker appears to be reading his/her speech from the computer’s screen. This includes all speeches delivered by a speaker who appears to be sitting or standing too close to the camera, even if this speaker was not, in fact, reading the speech.

4. Speech Download Requirement: Once you finish recording the speech presentation, download it to your computer. Using media viewing software, confirm that your presentation is visible and that its sound is audible before you upload it to YouTube. Most computers come with already-installed media player software (e.g., Windows Media Player or Quicktime). If you do not have media player software on your computer, consider the following downloadable free programs: GOM Media Player or VLC Media Player.

Always keep a master copy of the speech recording file in case technical complications require you to repost the file to your professor.

5. Speech Submission Requirements: Once you have viewed your speech on the computer to verify that it is presentable, upload it to YouTube. In order to do this, you will need to sign up for a free account if you do not have one already. After activating your account and uploading the video, you will notice that the speech is assigned a unique URL (a web address that that begins with . . .). Copy and paste this address into the comments section of the designated assignment submission area on the course’s Blackboard site. Your speech submission is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of module/week 6.

6. Revised Speech Outline Submission Requirement: Submit your corresponding revised final speech outline—one that assimilates the changes your professor recommended in response to the draft—via its separately placed link. Your speech outline submission is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of module/week 6.

If military or security-related rules restrict your access to YouTube, contact your professor before the deadline for alternative submission guidelines. If, due to personal reasons, you do not feel comfortable using YouTube, please contact your professor, as alternative means of submission are available. However, if you do choose to use an alternative method of submission, please make sure you have access to a CD or DVD burner.

Please note the following submission-related pointers:

• Never try to submit your speech file directly via Blackboard as a file attachment. This will not work. Just provide the link to your uploaded video (from YouTube), in the manner described above.
• Set your video for public viewing. When posting your speech to YouTube, be sure to set your video for public viewing rather than private viewing so the professor can access it and give you credit for your work.
• You may post the file as an unlisted YouTube video. Alternatively, for greater privacy, you may post the video as a YouTube Unlisted video.
• Choose a workable file format. When posting your speech to YouTube, please note that .MPG and .WMV files are less problematic and consume less memory than .AVI files; .MPG and .WMV files are less time-consuming, therefore, to upload to the site. Thus, if given a choice, save your file in one of the former formats.
• Confirm that your upload succeeded. After uploading your file to YouTube, sign out of YouTube, close your browser, reopen the browser, paste the URL into the address bar, and hit “Enter” to try to access the speech. Watch the entire video to confirm whether the upload was successful.

If you have questions about these guidelines, you should direct them to your professor as soon as possible.


Leave a Reply