Grading Standards (Speeches

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The A speech: • Significantly contributes to the audience’s understanding of the importance and novelty of the topic and of the information presented. In other words, the audience learns something valuable. • Has a varied, flexible tone that adapts to the thoughts and feelings demanded by the speech’s content/purpose. • Has an organizational pattern—chronological, categorical, cause-effect, etc.—that is appropriate for the purpose and subject of the speech. • The introduction uses creativity to gain audience attention and to favorably orient audience members toward the speaker, topic, and purpose of the speech. • The body of the speech develops the topic in such a way that it resolves initial audience uncertainty, ignorance, or opposition as the speech progresses. • The conclusion does more than merely restate the topics covered; rather, it draws out the central ideas that should be understood and retained by the audience. • Illustrates skillful mastery of internal transitions and of emphasis in presentation of the speaker's ideas. • Uses delivery that demonstrates the speaker’s mastery of the material. It also demonstrates a “lively sense of communication” and a relationship with the audience. The B speech: • Exhibits an authentic style that is vivid, interesting, and appropriate for the topic or situation. • Is of above average quality in challenging the audience to think or in arousing depth of response. • Skillfully helps the audience understand unusually difficult concepts or processes; or, wins agreement from audience members initially inclined to disagree with the speaker's purpose. • Establishes significant rapport through language and delivery that achieves a genuinely reciprocal response from the audience. In other words, the speaker successfully engages the audience, to some degree. The C speech: • Conforms to type assigned (problem, policy, etc.) and time limit; ready on date assigned • Exhibits sound organization: a clear purpose adequately supported by main ideas that are easily identified. • Fulfills any special requirements of the assignment, (sources/visual aids/etc) • Is intellectually sound in developing a worthwhile topic with adequate and dependable information/evidence. Worthwhile topics have some exigence, provide new information or a fresh perspective, and are appropriate for the audience and occasion. • Exhibits reasonable directness and communicativeness in delivery. In other words, the speaker attempts to “connect” personally with the audience. The D speech: • attempts to follow the requirements of the assignment, but demonstrates little awareness of the rhetorical situation, including awareness of the speaker’s position, the audience’s existing knowledge of and interest in the topic, the purpose of the speech, or the physical setting. Examples include: • Over- or under-estimates (or simply ignores) the audience’s prior knowledge, assumptions, or beliefs concerning the topic • Demonstrates little sense of purpose or direction; has no clear thesis

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Omits obvious evidence and relevant information, or evidence may be inadequately interpreted Has deficient organization (introductions or conclusions not clear when spoken, main points not clear, topic not developed clearly or logically) Delivery reflects inadequate preparation by the speaker and/or a significant lack of “connection” with the audience

The F speech: • Is inappropriate in terms of the purpose of the assignment and the demands of the rhetorical situation • May relate vaguely to the assignment, but has no clear purpose or direction • Either falls significantly shorter or goes significantly longer than the specified time limits for the assignment • Demonstrates no coherent organizational pattern or main ideas, and it exhibits little or no understanding of the demands of the situation • Has delivery that is so unpolished as to show inadequate preparation/rehearsal

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