ERIC Number: EJ1023271
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
The Statement of Purpose Speech: Helping Students Navigate the "Sophomore Slump"
Vaughn, Mary Stairs; Parry, Pam
Communication Teacher, v27 n4 p207-211 2013
The authors of this article believe that the introductory speech course described here is a good fit for this sophomore-specific assignment for several reasons. First, the introductory speech course is often taken in the first 60 hours. Most students taking the course are in their second, third, or fourth semesters. Second, this assignment is a great alternative to the Speech of Introduction, typical of many introductory speech courses, in that it offers another layer of complexity and rigor for students. Finally, students often say that they want speaking opportunities that they will use later in their lives. This assignment was inspired by a recent graduate who applied to graduate school and sought advice on how to craft her application essay. It is very likely that every student will have to articulate a statement of purpose at some point, whether in an interview, application essay, or cover letter. This is a rhetorical challenge for most, and the statement of purpose speech provides good practice for the future. Although this assignment fits well within the introductory speech course, it also has practical application for the business and professional communication course. Some business and professional communication courses may prepare students for their internships in the community, so they often involve sophomores who need to engage in personal reflection regarding career goals. Student objectives are to demonstrate an ability to develop an innovative theme; structure a message in two to four main points; and tailor a message to the demographic and situational factors of a targeted audience. Students will also engage in focused reflection of personal strengths and weaknesses, choice of major, and future goals. Finally, they will articulate a persuasive and purposeful message that distinguishes them from their peers.
Descriptors: Speeches, Public Speaking, College Students, College Instruction, Reflection, Majors (Students), Career Choice, Speech Instruction, Introductory Courses, Business Communication, Employment Interviews, Simulation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A