Speech courses

The Speech component of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College reflects Speech at its best. We've created a forum for dynamic conversations to push our thinking about Speech and other forms of communication. You'll find this spirit of curiosity and enthusiasm reflected in how we talk about, think about, write about, and do Speech. You'll also see our commitment to Speech through our thoughtfully designed courses that help students to become more confident, more effective, more informed communicators.

SPEE 20: Public Speaking

This course covers the theory and practice of public speaking. Building on ancient rhetorical canons while recognizing unique challenges of contemporary public speaking, the course guides students through topic selection, organization, language, and delivery. Working independently and with peer groups, students will be actively involved in every step of the process of public speaking preparation and execution. Assignments include formal speeches (to inform, to persuade, and to pay tribute), brief extemporaneous speeches, speech analyses, and evaluations. No prerequisites. Limited enrollment.

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SPEE 24: Argumentation in Speech and Writing

Argument is something that is part of our everyday lives as citizens. The course requires students to learn about argumentation both conceptually and practically. Students study the components of arguments, including claims, evidence, reasoning, and fallacies and learn how to apply course concepts to critique others’ arguments and compose their own written and oral arguments. Students learn about the elements of argumentation in policy debate. Limited enrollment. No prior speaking experience is necessary.

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SPEE 25: Persuasive Public Speaking

This course explores persuasive public speaking and helps students learn to craft messages of influence. Approaching persuasive public speaking as transactional, students will engage in audience analysis during speech invention, organization, language choices, and delivery. Assignments include formal speeches (to convince and to actuate), brief extemporaneous speeches, speech and argument analyses, and peer speech evaluations. Peer group work will facilitate speech preparation and provide a forum to audition arguments and ideas. No prerequisites. Limited enrollment.

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SPEE 27: Intercultural Rhetoric

In our increasingly diverse world, cultural and intercultural literacy is an urgent necessity, not an option. To help fulfill this exigency, the goal of this class is for students to explore how diverse underlying cultural orientations and patterns influence communication behaviors within and between cultures.Theoretical and practical aspects of intercultural communication will be addressed with a focus on how students can apply alternative communication strategies that result in deliberate and fruitful intercultural outcomes. No prerequisites. Limited enrollment.

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SPEE 30: Speechwriting

This course explores speechwriting as a process. Students will work independently and in peer groups to write speeches for themselves and for others. Students will also deliver speeches. Throughout the course, students will compare speechwriting with other types of writing, celebrating the unique challenges of writing for the ear. No prerequisites. Limited enrollment.

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SPEE 31: Rhetoric of Social Justice

Contemporary social movements in the U.S. bear strong resemblance to those in the past in that social protests have, and continue to be, definitively rhetorical. This course focuses on theorizing the relationship between rhetoric and social movements from a historical and contemporary perspective. Our focal point will be rights-based campaigns of movements seeking socio-political legitimacy and equality. The course will also explore the pivotal role strategic communication plays in effective advocacy. No prerequisites. Limited enrollment.

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SPEE 32: Legal Rhetoric

In Winter 2012, this course will be co-taught by Josh Compton, Senior Lecturer in Speech, and Paul Klaas, Adjunct Professor of Legal Rhetoric.

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SPEE 33: Political Humor Rhetoric: Contemporary Television

It is tempting to dismiss late night television comedy as inconsequential. And yet, empirical research reveals that political humor affects knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. In this class, we will survey extant research findings to evaluate late night political humor's content and effects, using social scientific and rhetorical theories to better understand how, and in what ways, late night television political comedy matters. Speaking and writing projects will be used to achieve course objectives. No prerequisites. Limited enrollment. Dist: SOC. Compton.

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SPEE 40: Resistance to Influence: Inoculation Theory-Based

This course revisits a classic theory of resistance to influence: inoculation. Inoculation theory is unique. Instead of offering ways to enhance persuasion, inoculation offers resistance to persuasion. We will trace inoculation’s development; reconsider some of its assumptions; explore its application in contexts of health, politics, and marketing; and discuss ethics of resistance-based message strategies. Writing and speaking projects will guide our consideration and analysis of this underexplored dimension of rhetoric. No prerequisites. Limited enrollment.

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