In order to get an A on this assignment, the following criteria must be met:
-you must have some sort of preliminary outline. It doesn’t have to follow strict outline form, but it must give me a roadmap to how you put your speech together and what points you plan to research for the final product. Most of you have put the barest minimum of effort into your outlines thus far – do some work on this one, please. This part of the packet may be hand-written (but may NOT be on a napkin!)
-your speech must be at least (AT LEAST!) five to seven minutes long if read aloud. Do yourself a favor – read it to a friend and have them time you, because you KNOW I’ll check. It must have a good, solid central idea, at least three supporting points and a clear conclusion. The writing must be clear and convincing college-level work. Avoid generalizations, broad statements, unsupported statements and words like “a lot” and “really.” Oh, and it must be typed.
-you must hand in a comprehensive bibliography (also typed) with your speech. I don’t care if you use APA or MLA citation style (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, LOOK IT UP!!), but make sure whichever you use is complete and consistent. I’m looking for at least (AT LEAST!) three sources, and one of them MUST be from a print resource (ie, NOT a website – find a book or magazine or professional journal or government report or….).
-your entire packet – outline, speech and bibliography – must be grammatically clean. You must have proper punctuation and spelling, subject-verb agreement, and clear use of pronouns. Make sure your language is clear and correct, please. Remember, I’m an English teacher…
Yesterday, I got an electronic file from one of my favorite students. He has written a persuasive speech about spraying insecticide as a preventative for triple-e. His sister died of the disease last year, and it’s pretty obvious that he feels very strongly about his argument for action.
The speech itself isn’t particularly persuasive; he relied a great deal on emotional appeal and righteous anger at the cavalier attitude of those who think that triple-e is not a significant threat. Neither is it especially well-written – there were more than a few grammatical errors and he’s got a bit of a ‘flow’ problem. It’s not a bad speech, mind you, but it’s not A quality work. If this were the only requirement of the assignment, I’d probably give him a strong B.
Here’s my problem:
While the student did quote from various newspapers, he has submitted neither an outline nor a bibliography – two of the required elements for the assignment. The question that I posed in the title of this post is this: do I chase him down for these items, or do I simply dock the grade accordingly?