Com 110 overview purpose the overall purpose of the Communication and Critical Inquiry

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Think Blot

Last weekend, while I was at my boyfriend, Jason’s, house his little cousins came over while his parents went out to eat with his uncle. We could not think of anything to do, so we decided to play a game that Jason’s little brother had gotten for Christmas: Think Blot. To summarize, the game incorporates inkblots that you would see if you went to see a psychologist. Each player has a minute to examine a picture and write down every possible person, activity, place, or item that they can see in the inkblot shown. After a minute, each player shares something he or she was able to see in the picture; if another person saw the same thing, each receives a point. If only one player sees an object, he or she has to get the other players to see it, and then he or she receives two points.

We all played the same game, the four of us using our imaginations to see as many different objects as possible in the same picture. This game relates to our discussion in class on Friday, January 25, concerning perception, and more specifically subjective perception. As stated in the text, “perception is the process of becoming aware of objects and events from the senses” (Lucas, 2004, p. AA-6). To add, perception is subjective because we interpret what we sense and make it our own; in turn, adding and subtracting what we see, hear, smell, and touch. More specifically, subjective perception is giving our own, uniquely constructed meaning to stimuli. My experience playing Think Blot is an example of subjective perception, because we were each viewing the same picture, yet had our own interpretations of it. We did not just see a generic interpretation of the inkblot and say that we saw a spot on a page, but rather we also tied in the elements of closure and figure and ground to see figures. This could also make Think Blot interpretative stimuli, because it uses a blend of internal states and external stimuli to interpret the inkblot. The differences in our perceptions also deal with our backgrounds, experiences, and also our states of mind. For example, while we were playing, I kept seeing food (i.e. an apple), which could have been because I was hungry at the time. Also, I was the only girl playing, so the males would see more masculine objects such as guns and knives, and I would see them as a golf club or candlestick.

Portfolio Assignment
Artifact Example

Gap Commercial


Surprisingly, this past week I actually had some time to sit down, relax, and watch television. In the middle of watching Boston Public, one of my favorite television shows, a commercial for The Gap came on the screen. Sarah Jessica Parker, an actress famous for her role in the television show Sex and the City, appeared in the commercial. She was dressed very nicely in khaki capris, pink tee shirt, and matching shoes. Her hair was curled, and when she smiled her teeth literally sparkled. In this commercial Sarah Jessica Parker was singing a new interpretation of the Broadway song “Enjoy Being a Girl.” While she was singing, Sarah was running up and down the aisles of The Gap store, picking up every item she could and dropping it into her cart. In an instant, many other girls joined her in the store, and started singing and shopping as well. The commercial finally ended with Sarah saying that every girl should shop at Gap.

This commercial frightened me because it was so corny. After watching the advertisement, I noticed that the commercial had many different fallacies in it. The first fallacy I noticed was the bandwagon fallacy. The bandwagon fallacy “invites you to join the group and do something because everyone is doing it” (Lucas, 2004, p. FF-84). The Gap used this fallacy by including many different girls at the end of the advertisement. By adding in so many girls at the end of the commercial, a teenage girl watching the advertisement may be compelled to drive to The Gap and buy some clothes. She would feel the need to do that because all the cool girls on the commercial were doing the same thing. In addition, I also noticed this commercial had the appeal to authority fallacy. The appeal to authority fallacy “occurs when a person offers information that is outside his or her area of expertise” (Lucas, 2004, p. FF-85). The Gap commercial used this fallacy by having Sarah Jessica Parker tell every girl to shop at Gap. Sarah Jessica Parker is an actress, not a fashion consultant, so it is ridiculous that she is telling other people what clothes to buy.


Portfolio Assignment

WRITING TIPS


  1. Proofread, proofread, proofread! (This includes reading your paper for grammar, usage, and mechanical errors). Hint: Have someone else read the paper aloud to you as well.




  1. Writing is a formal activity, do not write as though you are speaking or having a conversation with the reader or yourself. For instance, try to replace the pronoun “you” with a specific noun or “one.”




  1. Papers must have one inch margins and be in 12-point font. Double space throughout the paper.




  1. Avoid contractions—spell them out (e.g., Can’t = cannot Don’t = do not).




  1. Avoid over-use or under-use of commas.




  1. Use short, concise sentences—avoid run-on sentences at all costs.




  1. Do not assume your reader has the same level of understanding of the subject (explain or elaborate when necessary).




  1. Avoid slang and/or jargon –use proper language at all times (e.g., “I tend to do this…” should be “I have a tendency to do this…” ).




  1. Use gender-neutral language and avoid stereotypes and/or generalizations. (e.g., The postman came to the door should be the mail person or postal carrier).




  1. Numbers under 10 should be spelled out in papers.



  1. The first time you use a word that also has an acronym, it should be spelled out the first time it is used. The next time you use the word, you can abbreviate it (e.g., Illinois State University (ISU) then later just ISU).





  1. A LOT is two words.




  1. Affect is a verb except when referring to an emotion. Effect is a noun.




  1. Its is a possessive form; it’s is a contraction for “it is.”




  1. Always have subject/verb and pronoun/antecedent agreement. (e.g., “A student who is speaking with their teacher…” should be “A student who is speaking with his or her teacher…” or “Students speaking with their teachers…”).




  1. Two independent clauses linked by however should include a semi-colon before however and a comma after it (e.g., “We went to dinner; however, we did not go to a movie.”) Or two independent clauses joined together should have a comma and coordinating conjunction (e.g., “I tend to be loud when I am around my friends, but I become shy around strangers.”).




  1. Avoid the use of flowery (elaborate or ornate) language in your papers.




  1. One-sentence paragraphs are not acceptable. A paragraph must contain four or more sentences and must be about one idea. Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence, a concluding sentence/transition.

19. Do not end a sentence with a preposition or verb.




Portfolio Assignment

Synthesis Paper


Description

Your goal in the final portfolio assignment is to evaluate how your communication has changed over the semester. Are you a better public speaker? (Why or why not?) Are you more comfortable and effective in small group settings? Are you better at handling conflict in groups and interpersonally? Are you better at critical thinking, identifying illogical arguments or constructing logical arguments to influence others? Are you better at gathering and incorporating research (information literacy skills)? Are you more aware of your language choices and better able to select appropriate terms that are not sexist/racist or just stupid? You should include the Synthesis Paper Template and CTSA posttest with your paper.

The items in the portfolio provide the evidence for the claims you are making. For example, if you claim you have improved in public speaking, point to something you did ineffectively in your first speech but improved in your second. You don’t need to give exact location on outline, evaluation form, or tape, but you should “situate” the evidence (e.g., “I am now better at organizing my speeches. In my informative speech (see introduction), I did not give any indication of the three points I wanted to make. In my persuasive speech (see introduction), I very clearly stated that I was going to discuss the problem caused by xxx and offer a three-step solution to solve the problem. Also, my transitions improved. In my informative speech, I had no transition between the body of the speech and the conclusion, but in my persuasive speech, I provided a very clear transition into my conclusion by using repetition (see the last two minutes of the tape).” Other portfolio items should be used in the same way. If you claim to be a better critical thinker you should provide editorial pages, ads, descriptions of commercials, summaries of conversations, etc. that illustrate some fallacy you have now begun to recognize. If you claim to be more aware of sexist or racist language, provide a cartoon, editorial, or summary of a conversation that illustrates this.
Format

Your paper should be 3-5 pages (typed and double spaced with no more than one inch margins and 12 point font). Your paper will contain seven paragraphs including an introduction (with attention getter, thesis, and preview), three main points (which reflect the three improvement claims with evidence to support), goals not met, possible revision for ENG assignment (identify the speech that you will revise for your ENG class next semester), and a conclusion (with summary and memorable close).

Evaluation

This paper is worth _____ points and is part of your total portfolio grade. The following is my criteria for evaluation: Format (_____ pts), Writing (_____ pts), Organization (_____ pts), Support (_____ pts), and Overall Impression (_____ pts). See next page for a further description of each component. This is a formal writing assignment and should be treated as such. You should plan what you want to write and then follow through with complete, but concise sentences. In other words, do not “think” or “talk” on paper. By completing the following synthesis paper template, you may begin to organize your thoughts and then use the information here to outline your paper.


Portfolio Assignment

Synthesis Paper

Grading Criteria and Evaluation Form
FORMAT (____ points possible)


  • Paper is three to five pages

  • Paper is typed and double spaced

  • Paper uses correct margins

  • Paper uses appropriate 12 point font

  • Paper is seven paragraphs _______



WRITING (____ points possible)

  • Paper follows writing tips handout

  • Paper is free of grammatical errors

  • Paper has been proofread for errors (i.e. redundancy, typing mistakes)

  • Paper uses proper punctuation

  • Sentence structure is varied

  • Transitions are used

  • Introductory and concluding sentences are used _______


ORGANIZATION (____ points possible)

  • Paper is a reflection of your communication skills progress and 3 improvements made throughout this class

  • First paragraph is organized as a proper introduction to this reflection paper (including an attention getter, thesis, and preview)

  • Second through fourth paragraphs are organized as 3 main points. Each main point reflects 3 communication skill improvements made throughout the eight weeks of this class.

  • Fifth paragraph identifies goals not met.

  • Sixth paragraph provides a rationale for the speech you will alter for your ENG course.

  • Final and seventh paragraph is organized as a proper conclusion to this reflection paper (including a summary and memorable close)

_______
SUPPORT (____ points possible)
  • Strong support for arguments using specific examples and clear evidence are provided


  • Specific examples of improvements are given to support arguments and claims made in each paragraph

  • Clear evidence of improvement is clearly cited to support arguments and claims made in each paragraph

  • Improvements are clearly stated at the beginning of each of the three subsequent paragraphs

  • The items in your portfolio are used as evidence of the claims made and referenced in the paper

  • Support is given for each improvement using specific examples

  • Support is given for each improvement using clear evidence in Portfolio

  • Specific action(s) taken to make each improvement are explained _______


OVERALL IMPRESSION (____ points possible)

  • Paper follows guidelines for assignment

  • The Synthesis Paper template is complete

  • Ideas flow logically together

  • Paper is organized into separate yet complete thoughts

  • Paper avoids “thinking” or “talking” on paper _______


TOTAL _______

Portfolio Assignment
Synthesis Paper Template
Paragraph One (Introduction)

What rhetorical device will you use as an attention getter (e.g., quote, anecdote, humor, startling statement, imagery, etc.)?


What three improvements will you address in this paper?


How are these improvements different/similar to your CIP goals?



For paragraphs two through four, you may choose from the following improvements or develop some of your own. Through this course, I have improved my:


  1. Public Speaking Apprehension 11. Nonverbal Delivery (Actions)
  2. Audience Analysis Skills 12. Use of Visual Aids


  3. Topic Selection Skills 13. Persuasive Speaking Skills

  4. Researching Skills 14. Group Communication Skills

  5. Organizing Skills 15. Ethical Communication Skills

  6. Outlining Skills 16. Non-Public Speaking Apprehension

  7. Writing Skills 17. Interpersonal Communication Skills

  8. Preparation for Class/Speeches 18. Listening Skills

  9. Participation in Class 19. Critical Thinking Skills

  10. Verbal Delivery (Words) 20. Other __________________________


Paragraph Two (Improvement #1)

Identify an improvement from the list above or provide one of your own.

Where in the portfolio will you find evidence of this improvement (e.g., PRCA, CIP, Speech Materials, Artifacts, Participation Sheets, Reading Objectives, Video, etc.)?

Paragraph Three (Improvement #2)

Identify an improvement from the list above or provide one of your own.

Where in the portfolio will you find evidence of this improvement?

Portfolio Assignment

Synthesis Paper Template



Paragraph Four (Improvement #3)

Identify an improvement from the list above or provide one of your own.


Where in the portfolio will you find evidence of this improvement?


Paragraph Five (Goals Not Met)

What goals did you not meet?


Paragraph Six (Speech for ENG Assignment)

What speech will alter for your ENG course next semester? How might you alter your research strategy for that topic?



Paragraph Seven (Conclusion)

Re-phrase your three improvements.


Was there anything you did not improve that you wished you had? If so, why?


What rhetorical device will you use to provide a memorable close?


Portfolio Assignment

Critical Thinking Self Assessment (CTSA)
Directions: This questionnaire is designed to help you examine your own skills by asking you to describe how you interact with things you read and hear. Doing this accurately can help you know what skills you need to work on and what skills you have already developed. Your answers will not affect your grade in any way; so be honest with yourself. Think about times when you have seen or heard professionally-produced articles, stories, videos, books, speeches, or sermons that were designed to persuade you to believe something. Consider only those times when you paid attention. Using these recollections, and recollections about your own writing and speaking, please answer the following questions as honestly as you can. Please circle the appropriate response using the scale below (1 = never, 2 = rarely, 3 = sometimes, 4 = frequently, 5 = always).





Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Frequently

Always

1. When I read or hear items like those described above, I am able to get the point.


1

2

3

4

5


2. I am able to follow a fairly complex line of argument, so that I can tell which things are offered in support of which other things, and how it’s all supposed to fit together.

1

2

3

4

5


3. After reading or hearing someone’s line of argument on an issue, I can give an accurate, detailed summary of how the line of argument went.

1

2

3

4

5


4. I feel confident about deciding whether it is reasonable to believe a piece of evidence or a reason used in support of a conclusion.

1

2

3

4

5


5. I can tell when there are logical holes in the reasoning that is supposed to connect a conclusion and the reasons being used to support that conclusion.

1

2

3

4

5

6. I know how to tell the difference between a credible source and a garbage source of information or ideas.


1

2

3

4

5


7. I look for the hidden assumptions that are often present in an argument.

1

2

3

4

5

8. When I read reliable statistics that show two factors rise and fall together, I recognize that it doesn’t necessarily mean one caused the other.


1


2


3


4


5


9. When I evaluate someone else’s line of thinking, I consider their arguments rather than just deciding whether I agree with their conclusions.

1

2

3

4

5


Portfolio Assignment





Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Frequently

Always

10. I know how to go about deciding how strong an argument really is.

1

2

3

4

5


11. I am able to come up with acceptable reasons or evidence to support my conclusions when I write or give organized oral presentations.

1

2

3

4

5


12. When I write an essay or give a talk I try to respond carefully to possible significant objections to my positions.

1

2

3

4

5


13. I am able to construct an organized, logical argument that stays on topic.

1

2

3

4

5


14. When I present an argument for a position, other people can follow what I’m saying.

1

2

3

4

5


15. When there are good arguments for contrary views on a subject, I know how to evaluate them and come up with the best conclusion.

1

2

3

4

5

16. I am willing to take the time and make the effort to think through an argument carefully before deciding what I think about it.


1

2

3

4

5


17. I enjoy thinking through an issue and coming up with strong arguments about it.

1

2

3

4

5






































In order to obtain a score, simply sum all 17 items. Your CTSA score ______. You can compare your score on the CTSA to other ISU students using the percentile chart below (the average end of semester CTSA score in a previous sample of ISU students was 67.21).


Percentiles Score

25 64.00


50 67.00

75 71.00


Speech Lab Student Feedback Form

Informative Speech
Speech Components Feedback



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