Required Texts: Lucas, S. E. (2015). The Art of Public Speaking (12th ed). New York, ny: McGraw Hill. Required Materials

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Spring 2017 – Sections – 07 & 24

Instructor: Ryan Rasner, M.A.

Office: Coates Hall Room 328

Office Phone: 225-578-4308


Office Hours: M/W 9:00AM - 11:00AM or by appointment
Required Texts: Lucas, S. E. (2015). The Art of Public Speaking (12th ed). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Required Materials: SD card – you will use this card throughout the semester for all speeches.
Course Description/ Goals:

CMST 2060 is a General Education Humanities Course designed to familiarize students with the study of public speaking. The act of public speaking is the culmination (and often the beginning) of a long process of critical dialogue between oneself, language, and the imagined responses of the audience. In other words, it takes being confident in who you are, what you want to say, how you are going to say it, who you want to say it to, and why you should say anything at all. Throughout the semester, students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of public speaking.

As a General Education Humanities Course, CMST 2060 will enable students to demonstrate an understanding of historical, cultural, and philosophical complexity that supports sophisticated discourse.
As a result of this course, students should:

  1. Understand the principles of rhetoric and effectively utilize them in crafting well researched, reasoned, and appealing speeches.

  2. Choose topics for public speaking that are timely, relevant, and adaptable given varying situations in which the message may be delivered, and for different audiences.

  3. Effectively and critically evaluate message/speech content and delivery, both when examining one’s own work as well as that of others.

  4. Understand and utilize the verbal and nonverbal elements essential for exemplary speech delivery.

  5. Analyze and discuss speeches of historical, political and social significance.

Attendance & Participation: Your attendance at each class meeting is expected. You are expected to attend all classes just as you would be expected to go to work every day as if this class was any other job. You are allowed 3 absences during the semester (no questions asked). These are free for you to use. Each absence that is not excused through the university beyond the 3 “free” absences will result in a 20 point deduction from your final grade.

Technology Policy: The goal of all course policies is to help create a successful course experience for you as the student; this includes your ability to learn course material and to do so in an effective classroom environment. As such, use of technology is prohibited to devices that aid in student learning and with the instructors approval. As a general rule, students are not permitted to record other students in the course without permission from the student speaking and the instructor.

  • Laptop computers and similar devices used for note-taking as a learning aid are permitted in class with approval from the instructor. You should also have paper and a writing utensil on all days for group activities.

  • All other technology (smart phones, etc.) is NOT permitted for use during class. The first use during class will result in substantial reduction in overall course participation points (up to 20 points) with an increasing reduction in points for each use thereafter. Inappropriate technology use while another student is presenting will result in a ZERO for the day and you will be asked to leave class.

  • In case of emergencies requiring cell phone access during the class session, you should notify your instructor before class begins and attempt to sit near the entrance to the classroom.

Plagiarism: You are to assume that all assignments in this course are individual assignments unless explicit instructions are provided for a group project. Any student found to have turned in material not his or her own (either downloaded from the internet or written by another student) in part or in whole will immediately be reported to the Dean of Students. The Internet has made plagiarism very easy and very tempting. Hundreds of sites offer papers, research, writing, and editing. The ease with which such material is available over the Internet does not lessen the seriousness of claiming material from the Internet as your own. See the LSU policies on plagiarism here: Your paper would be considered as plagiarized in part or entirely if you do any of the following:

  • Submit a paper that was written by someone other than you.

  • Submit a paper in which you use the ideas, metaphors or reasoning style of another, but do not cite that source and/or place that source in your list of references. Simply rewording a sentence does not make work your own.

  • Submit a paper in which you “cut and paste” or use the exact words of a source and you do not put the words within quotation marks, use footnotes or in-text citations, and place the source in your list of references.

Extra Credit: No extra credit assignments will be allowed.
Disabilities: The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitations Act of 1973 states: “If you have a disability that may have some impact on your work in this class and for which you may require accommodations, please see a coordinator in the Office of Disability Affairs (112 Johnston Hall) so that such accommodations can be arranged.” After you receive the accommodation letters, please meet with me to discuss the provisions of those accommodations.

Speeches* (500 points/50%):

Introduction speech (3 percent/30 points): 3-4 minute speech. The introduction speech is the first of three speeches on your selected topic. In this first speech, you will introduce the topic and its significance to the class.

Informative Speech (15 percent/150 points): 6-8 minute informative speech on your topic that unpacks at least two sides to the issue.

Persuasive/Policy Speech (20 percent/200 points): 8-10 minute persuasive speech designed to convince and motivate your audience to take some immediate action about an important topic of social relevance.

Commemorative Speech (12 percent/120 points): 3-4 minute speech that pays tribute to a (real or fictional) person, place, or thing.

*You must submit an outline to earn credit for any speech.

Complete-sentence Outlines: You must turn in a complete-sentence outline with a reference page for each major speaking assignment, and by the date and time noted on the course Calendar. You must submit an outline to earn credit for a speech.

Formatting Instructions: Unless instructed otherwise, all written work including rough drafts should be typed, double-spaced, printed on paper, with one-inch margins all around, in standard 12-point Times New Roman font, and stapled. Please do not include a title/cover page. Citations will be formatted in accordance with APA 6th edition guidelines.

Reading Quizzes (15 percent/150points): Reading will be assessed by chapter quizzes, comprised of Multiple Choice, True False, Short Answer, and/or Essay questions that cover assigned readings.

Speaker Analyses (6 percent/60 points): are required for each day speeches are in progress. Each student will complete one (1) speaker analyses per speaking day. The focus of the analyses will vary depending on readings.

Personal Reflections (6 percent/60 points): are required for each speech. Personal reflections will be 500 words or more and single-spaced. The focus for each reflection will vary and build upon the previous reflections throughout the semester.

Exams: (20 percentage/200points): Midterm exam is worth 100 points and the final exam is worth 100 points of your grade.

Research Requirement (3 percent/30points): see page four of syllabus for instructions and DEADLINE.

Grades: Final grades will be determined based on scores earned in the following assignments. All work must be done during the semester.

Course Assignment Point Breakdown: (1000 point total)

Research Requirement 30 pts.

Introductory Speech 30 pts.

Informative Speech 150 pts.

Persuasive Speech 200 pts.

Commemorative Speech 120 pts.

Speaking Analyses 60 pts.

Personal Reflections 60 pts.

Reading Quizzes 150 pts

Midterm Exam 100 pts

Final Exam 100 pts

Course Assignment Percentage Breakdown:

4 MAJOR SPEECHES (50% of overall course grade):

Introductory Speech ……………………………… 3%

Informative Speech ……………………………. 15.0%

Persuasive Speech ……………………………... 20.0%

Commemorative Speech ……………………...…12%

- A portion of each of the four major speech assignments will be based upon written components (speech outlines, speech evaluations, etc.) in addition to an in-class presentation component.

ACTIVITIES/QUIZZES/ETC. (30% of overall course grade):

Research Participation Requirement……………. 3.0%

Speaking Analyses ………………………………. 6.0%

Personal Reflections ……………………………….6.0%

Reading Assessments…………………………… 15.0%

EXAMS (20% of overall course grade):

Midterm Exam……………………………………10.0%

Final Exam……………………………………......10.0%

Your final grade assignment will be based on your total score at the end of the semester.

Final grades will be assigned as follows:

A+ … 970-1000 points

A … 930-969 points

A - … 900-929 points

B + … 870-899 points

B … 830-869 points

B - … 800-829 points

C + … 770-799 points

C … 730-769 points

C - … 700-729 points

D + … 670-699 points

D … 630-669 points

D - … 600-629 points

F … 0-599 points

Missed Presentations and/or Late-Work:

If a student is absent/late the day she/he is scheduled to speak and has not made prior arrangements with me (your instructor), a ZERO grade will be recorded for the presentation portion of the assignment. If a speaker knows ahead of time that she/he cannot attend class the day of an assigned speech presentation, she/he is welcome to find a replacement without penalty (I will NOT find the replacement for you!).

Late Work: If you arrive late to class on the day of your speech, your assignment will be reduced by one letter grade, even if you are “on time” for your own presentation. Showing respect for your classmates by arriving on time to class on the day of presentations is of great importance. Major class assignments of course will be accepted prior to an established deadline.

Just as with any other job, you would certainly make every effort to contact your co-workers or boss if extenuating circumstances prevented you from being at work or meeting an important deadline. The same is true for this class - Treat it like a job.

Prior arrangements must be made with the instructor if extenuating circumstances prevent you from meeting an important deadline. If prior arrangements have been made with me, then later submissions will not be subject to penalty. If you miss class due to a university approved absence, you will be responsible to come into my office and provide original (hard copy) documentation to excuse any late work (no digital documentation). Always see me during my office hours to arrange make-up work—make every effort to arrange makeups before the expected absence. All make up work must be completed within 2 weeks of the original assignment.
The material you will learn in this course is the product of research. The goal of the research learning requirement is to help you to gain knowledge about the process by which scholars attempt to understand human behavior. All students taking CMST 1061, 2010, 1150, and 2060 must complete a research learning requirement. For each course in which a student is enrolled, he or she must complete

2 research credits. You can fulfill your requirement by

1. Participating in research studies conducted in the Department of Communication Studies. All studies that last between 0 and 30 minutes will count as one credit. Any study that lasts between 31 and 60 minutes will count as two credits. Each study will specify the number of credits a student can earn for completion. There will be several survey and experimental studies conducted throughout the semester. These studies are held on campus at various times and in various locations or are administered through online survey software. The Institutional Review Board at LSU approves all available studies.

2. Participating in an organized departmental function such as debate or public speaking competition. Only departmental sanctioned events will count toward a student’s research learning requirement; thus, no credit will be given for a student attending an outside speaker or performance.

3. Serving as a research assistant for a faculty member in the Department of Communication Studies. The number of units and requirements for those units will be set by the researcher and either accepted or rejected by the student.
The research learning requirement is worth 3% of your total grade; you will receive your 3% if you accumulate 2 research credits during the given semester. Please note that all research learning credits must be completed and allocated by Tuesday November 29 at 11:59 PM (the Tuesday prior to the start of the concentrated study period).
ALL available options to earn credit are posted on an electronic bulletin board located at . When you go to this website, you will first have to request an account. Once you have secured an account, you will be able to log in and see the options available to you for your various CMST courses.
Please note that various ways to fulfill your research learning requirement will appear on this bulletin board throughout the semester. You are encouraged to check the system on a regular basis for current credit options that fit your interests as well as your schedule.
It is very important that when you sign-up for a credit option that you attend that option or cancel your sign up. Failure to show up twice during one semester will result in your access to the system being restricted and you being unable to complete your research learning requirement. Valid excuses for failing to cancel a sign up and missing a credit option are the same as those found in LSU Policy Statement 31.
Detailed instructions on how to request an account and to navigate the system are posted on the homepage of the Department of Communication Studies,

Click on RESOURCES and RESEARCH PARTICIPATION SYSTEM. Scroll down to find the document

titled “RPS – Instructions for Students.”
You are encouraged to create an account during the first week of classes so that any problems that arise can be remedied before it is too late. If you have questions about this requirement or the online system that keeps track of credits, please email
LSU Commitment to Community:

The LSU Commitment to Community provides a guiding ethos to the University community Students are encouraged to exemplify the Commitment to Community in their daily lives.

Louisiana State University is an interactive community in which Students, faculty, and staff together strive to pursue truth, advance learning, and uphold the highest standards of performance in an academic and social environment.
It is a community that fosters individual development and the creation of bonds that transcend the time spent within its gates.

To demonstrate my pride in LSU, as a member of its community, I will:

  • accept responsibility for my actions;

  • hold myself and others to the highest standards of academic, personal, and social integrity;

  • practice justice, equality, and compassion in human relations;

  • respect the dignity of all persons and accept individual differences;

  • respect the environment and the rights and property of others and the University;

  • contribute positively to the life of the campus and surrounding community; and

  • use my LSU experience to be an active citizen in an international and interdependent world.

The continued success of LSU depends on the faithful commitment by each community member to these, our basic principles.  (Adopted May 1995)

TITLE IX & Sexual Misconduct Policy:

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination based on the gender of students and employees of educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance.

In accordance with Title IX and other applicable law, Louisiana State University (“LSU”) is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that promotes integrity, civility, and mutual respect in an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual misconduct which includes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and retaliation. LSU prohibits sex discrimination and sexual misconduct. This policy applies to all persons without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.

Sex discrimination and sexual misconduct violate an individual’s fundamental rights and personal dignity. LSU considers sex discrimination and sexual misconduct in all of its forms to be serious offenses.  This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy establishes a mechanism for determining when rights have been violated in employment, student life, campus support services, LSU programs and/or an academic environment.  

If you have concerns, you can contact:

University Contacts

Jennie Stewart Maria Fuentes_Martin
Campus Title IX Coordinator Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students

LSU Office of Human Resource Management LSU Dean of Students
110 Thomas Boyd Hall 333 Student Union
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 Baton Rouge, LA 70803
225-578-8200 225-578-9442   
Departmental Contacts

Dr. Loretta Pecchioni,

Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies
Dr. Ashley Jones-Bodie,

Director of Basic Courses, Department of Communication Studies

Ryan Rasner,

CMST 2060 Sections –07 & 24, Instructor of Record


Business leaders and other professionals recognize the importance of developing communication skills and analysis. Alan Greenspan, for example, stated, “To succeed, you will soon learn, as I did, the importance of a solid foundation in the basics of education – literacy, both verbal and numerical, and communication skills.” We hope this course contributes to your success.

To learn more about communication, you may want to major or minor in the Department of Communication Studies. The program explores how people sustain and change, experience, and make sense of the world through symbolic action. Students develop conceptual skills to analyze written, oral, and visual messages. Students gain practical experience in such areas such as public speaking, group decision-making, performance, and film. Such skills are elemental to careers in business, government, law, social services, and the arts.

A major in Communication Studies requires 36 hours including 12 hours of core classes and 12 hours at the 3000 or 4000 level. A minor requires 15 hours with one core class and 6 hours at the 3000 level or above.

The Department of Communication Studies offers 6 Pathways of Study as guidance for students interested in taking CMST courses. These pathways include lists of courses that can be taken for students interested in the following areas within Communication Studies:

  • Public Discourse

  • Art and Culture

  • Professional Communication

  • Communication in Human Relationships

  • Visual and Mediated Communication

  • Create your Own Pathway

More information is available at or by contacting our undergraduate advisor Mr. Kent Filbel (, whose hours are posted at his office, 135 Coates Hall.

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