Appendix J: Case Studies
Jennifer should probably have thought first about whether her topic really fits the audience, the context, and the assignment first. It might be that her audience will be very interested and informed by the topic of why the United States no longer uses the gold standard, and if she wrote a paper on it for history (and presumably got a good grade and did good research), she will know more about it than the rest of her class. In the history of the U.S., it is an important topic, but she will have to spend some time explaining why and how it affects the audience, the economy, trade, inflation, etc. together. It might be that the topic is too big (too much material) and she should focus on a subtopic of it.
As far as the sources are concerned, since she has read the sources, she can still use them, but she will want to be careful not to take her paper and basically deliver it, in an outlined or oral form, to her class. One, her instructor might use originality detection software, and she will be caught, and her college may have a policy against “self-plagiarism.” It is questionable ethics for her to use the paper twice. Second, a speech is not a research paper, and again she needs to think about the purpose, context, and audience. The history professor knows about the subject already and gave Jennifer the assignment so she would learn about economic policies of the past and how to write a good history research paper. The classroom audience, and the instructor in the speech class, aren’t looking at the assignment in the same way. Also, Jennifer will need to cite her sources differently in an oral medium.
In regard to Beth’s problem, Jennifer should empathize with Beth but firmly tell her she can’t give Beth her outline or sources. Perhaps she can help Beth brainstorm about a good topic for her class. The situation will most likely end up badly for Beth and Jennifer if they share the outline.
Possible Answer to Case Study One
Since Mitch’s purpose is informative, he should not do #5. Since his audience knows little about the sport, #1, #6, and #8 probably do not apply since the audience does not have a base of knowledge to build on. He will have to do research for the speech, so #7, #9, and #10 might work. Since he has so much experience compared to his audience, #2, #3, and #4 might also be good topics, and they are not entirely separated: you have to have equipment to play, and you have to know the rules to start playing.
Mitch decides to base his speech on this specific purpose statement: To explain to my classmates how they can begin to play tennis. Central Idea: Although it may look like a sport for accomplished athletes, you can begin to play tennis this weekend with some basic knowledge and equipment. (Preview) In this speech I will explain the equipment, the court, the play, and the scoring of a tennis game.
Possible Answer to Case Study Two
The stakes for this scenario are even higher than for Mitch. Bonita wants this position and wants to do a fantastic job on her interview and presentation. She decides to be informative in her general purpose. She knows she should mention some of her past projects in her speech as examples of her use of and knowledge about social media, and she knows the big question in her audience’s mind is “Will this candidate bring value and improvement to our communication processes?” At the same time, she does not want to come on too strong, so she decides to focus on how the three largest social media platforms of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram could be used to enhance the organization. Also at the same time, she decides that 5 minutes is not long enough to use all three, so she decides to just discuss Twitter.
Specific Purpose: To describe for the hiring panel how the nonprofit organization could use Twitter to fulfill its mission.
Central Idea: Twitter’s unique characteristics as a social media platform can contribute to the organization’s mission by reaching a wider audience, engaging younger audiences, and using visuals.
Possible Answers to Case Study
The answers here are fairly unlimited, since these topics are still very broad. First Roberto would want to focus them some more. These are just a few suggestions, but you and your class should discuss pros and cons of each option you come up with individually or as a group.
Pharmaceutical companies making drugs available in the developing world
To explain to my classmates how the U.S. government and Nongovernmental organizations have given incentives to Western pharmaceutical companies to distribute medications for HIV-AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Organization: Cause/effect; chronological
Changes in attitudes toward HIV-AIDS and HIV-AIDS patients over the last three decades
To describe to my classmates how survey data show how Americans have changed their attitudes toward HIV-AIDS patients since 1985.
Organization: chronological (by years); topical (themes that the data shows)
How HIV affects the body of a patient
To explain to my classmates the signs and symptoms of HIV in a patients’ body.
Organization: Spatial; topical; chronological
Major breakthroughs in HIV-AIDS treatment
To inform my classmates of the three new treatment options for HIV-AIDS patients since 2010.
Organization: Chronological; topical
Terrence could conceivably use all the different types of supporting materials, but since this is a persuasive speech, he should focus on the persuasive ones. Also, since he’s asking a lot of his fellow fraternity members in terms of time commitment, he should be serious and do his homework. Although Habitat for Humanity is well-known, many do not really know what they do and how their “builds” work. He would need statistics as far as numerical data on how many people in the area are helped by Habitat and the costs involved, and what would be reasonable goals for the fundraiser. He should have testimony of people who work for the organization and who have been helped. What else might help him be persuasive? Perhaps examples of past open-mic nights that had earned good amounts of money for a cause.