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Unit 3: Public Argument
Purpose:
You will practice communicating in the world beyond academia by transforming your
controversy analysis paper into a public argument. You will also create multiple drafts and
respond to the work of other writers.
Assignment:
Drawing on our discussions of rhetorical situation and analysis from Unit 1 and the
original research you performed in the Controversy analysis for Unit 2, create a specific
rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, and context) and create a rhetorically effective public
argument (either a TED talk with slides, video, infographic, or a website) to communicate in
that situation. You will present your public argument to the class in a 4-6 minute time slot. An
accompanying verbal speech is required for TED Talks, infographics, and websites, but not for
videos (other than recorded speech within the video).
Explicitly reference a minimum of 3 sources from your controversy research paper (use
“quote” and “end quote” or language such as “according to” and a signal phrase- See Rules for
Writers 58b). All images/audio/sources other than those in Paper 2 should be documented in a
final Works Cited slide.
Detailed description, examples, sound, music, color, props, and/or conversational
language are tools that you can use to convey ideas effectively. If you choose the TED talk,
video, or infographic, use alphabetic-based writing minimally, in accordance with the
conventions for these mediums. Images and short phrases are much stronger choices. Visual
elements should strengthen the piece and be clearly seen by the audience.
• The cover letter and the presentation should both communicate the specific rhetorical
situation (this counts as part of the time).
• For videos, consider recording audio using a headset or a USB microphone instead of
through your laptop’s speakers for clarity (see Resources section below).
• Your public argument will be evaluated in part for delivery pace, conversational style
(avoid merely reading information), timing, volume, eye contact, and credibility
(preparation and back ups).
• Your own audience for this assignment is an educated, college audience. The audience
members may not be familiar with your sources or your ideas. Communicate your main
claim in the introduction section, and make this especially clear to audience members.
Utilize verbal/visual transitions between points, and provide the significance of your
argument at the end.
Resources:
• Multimedia Zone –1st floor of the main library1-on-1 technology help
o There are other labs such as the Multimedia Learning Lab (Music) and the
Multimedia Classroom in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, but they have
classes in them during the day (see staff schedules here).
• Rent equipment (such as headsets or microphone USBs for recording) at the main library
Information Commons desk (1st floor) or at OSCR Gear to Go in the UITS Computer
Center. You can check out headsets/ microphone USB for 6 hours. Consider scheduling
an individual study room to record, or record from home. The MLL Sound Room is also
an option.
• Consider bringing your draft to the Writing Center in the Bear Down Gym—it’s free!
Make sure to bring this sheet. Appointments are best.

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