Spring 2018 ENGL 2050
Self-Staging:Oral Communicationin Everyday Lifefear-of-public-speaking-cartoon.gif
Dr. Lori Wilson SnaithOffice: TLC 3137lsnaith@westga.edu
Course Description and Classroom Policies


Students will--
  • be able to identify, analyze, and practice the various discursive modes involved in everyday self-presentation.
  • demonstrate the ability to appropriately adapt their oral communication to specific purposes and audiences.
  • learn and practice techniques of effective conflict resolution, collaborative working, and the presentation of self in a variety of professional and personal contexts.
  • study and discuss contemporary theories of communication.
  • learn how to express themselves more precisely and articulately by expanding their vocabulary and leading/participating in a variety of discussions in many contexts.


Snaith, Lori Wilson. Self-Staging: Self-Aware Communication in Everyday Life.
  • This is a workbook that UWG Publications and Printing copies and binds for my Self-Staging classes


You must complete all your assignments in order to pass this course:
  • First presentation: 10%
  • Group presentation: 15%
  • Midterm impromptu speech: 10%
  • Final presentation—Two-Minute Recitation: 15%
  • Vocabulary mastery--three tests (two individual; one with your Group): 10% (cumulative)
  • "Vocabulary Enthusiast" project: 10%
  • Argumentation Analysis and Response Essays (2) : 5% each; 10% cumulative (hard copies only)
  • Collaborative Group Essay: 10% (in hard copy)
  • Daily assignments, workbook assignments, and participation: 10%


In this course particularly, your attendance and participation in every class meeting is essential to your success, and to the progress of your classmates. Moreover, the nature of our class work demands a high level of concentration and student interaction; I want to create the most conducive environment possible in order for every student to excel. Therefore, I will only allow THREE absences without penalty to your grade.

Every absence after your third one, however, will result in a 5-point decrease in your final average.

In order to discourage chronic lateness, I count each late arrival to class as half an absence.

If you're absent on the day of a graded exercise (vocabulary test, presentation, interview, lab, etc.), you will not have the opportunity to make up the assignment.

I will dismiss from my classroom students who either fall asleep,don't bring their materials, or who bring them but haven't read them.I will count these students absent for the day.Don't test me on this. Seriously.

Select an interesting fact/event that you've learned recently, and prepare a FIVE minute presentation in which you teach us about your topic, and tell us how it is relevant to us. You'll be the expert on this topic, so do your research homework! Plan on a minute of question-and-answer at the end of your presentation.

Your topic must:
1) add to our body of college-level knowledge
2) interest you intensely
3) lead you to consult at least three scholarly sources

In your proposal (check our website for its due date) type a brief description of your topic-- two paragraphs will do--and list the three scholarly sources that you have consulted in selecting the focus and facts connected to your topic. Also, explain what you think its relevance or interest will be to your classmates.

This proposal is a piece of professional writing: format it carefully according to MLA requirements, and take it to the University Writing Center (call for an appointment: (678-839-6513) to consult with a tutor to make sure you submit a good piece of writing.

Reduce Ambiguity on Presentation Day!

If you plan to use visuals, include a description of them in your proposal, but please bear in mind that this assignment requires that you foreground your own self-staging skills instead of depending too much on graphics.

Plan to write your essay early so that you can rehearse it aloud several times so that you can present without reference to any script whatsoever; brief note-cards are fine, but don't over-load them or over-depend on them.

I’ll be considering your timing, evidence of research and college-level analysis, diction, poise, and posture.

On presentation day:
-- plan to dress professionally.
-- you must hand me a perfectly MLA-formatted Works Cited page listing your three scholarly sources (first-page headings are not necessary; just the regular header in the top left corner.
Again, plan ahead to take a draft of your Works Cited document to the University Writing Center in order to assure that it's flawless.


Several of the projects in class will require you to work with other students, and some will require you to assess other students in their degree of success/competency. I expect, therefore, that you will work with each in a constructive, respectful, and rigorous environment, sharing ideas and expertise for the benefit of the group as a whole. Part of your responsibility in this class is to help each other improve, and this means that you must point out your classmates’ strengths as well as their areas of weakness in order that every student might grow in his or oral communication skills. I expect you to deliver your feedback in an honest and tactful manner.

In this assignment, you'll put your presentation skills (posture, diction, projection, lateral-thinking, poise under pressure, connection to your audience, and general joie de vivre!) to a slightly more rigorous test by picking a topic out of a hat, and immediately delivering a one-minute minute presentation on the subject.


Don't worry! You'll have had plenty of practice before this midterm activity just by developing your Self-Staging skills out in The Real World, and you can prepare by rehearsing all the topics (see link, above).

Twice this semester, you will submit THREE lists of twenty vocabulary words, their part of speech, and their definitions--you'll see page blanks for this assignment in the back of your workbook.

Each list of twenty words must come from a different class (you may choose Self-Staging as one of the three classes); you may glean your lists from the same three classes for both submissions, if you'd like. Finally, you must procure the professors' signature and ask them to date each of your vocabulary pages that your created from their classes.

Refer to your course syllabus for due dates.


For part of your Final Exam, each student will recite a different two-minute excerpt (around 15-20 lines), which he or she will choose from any LITERARY text: poetry, non-fiction (speeches, essays), lines from plays, novels, short-stories.
Your text MUST come from classic, canonical texts.

In an academic sense, the "canon" means the great works of literature...the "best" or "most important" or "most representative" works of literature which anchor the study of English and American literature. You may also choose English translations from canonical texts from great World literature, such as a passage from Plato, Ovid, Confucius, Voltaire, Achebe, etc.

In order for you to have the advantage of preparing for this assignment as thoroughly as possible, early in the semester you will submit a proposal for the text you'd like to memorize.

I will assess your recitation according to the following criteria:
  • Coherence and logic of your oral introduction of the text to the class: what's the relevance of this text to your classmates? Why is it worth listening to?
  • Basic presentation skills (i.e. can everybody hear you? Are you articulating each and every word clearly?).
  • Enthusiasm and audience connection:
  • Did you recite this piece with spirit--passion, even--demonstrating a clear understanding of each and every line with appropriate subtext?
  • Did you sustain eye-contact with your classmates?
  • How well did you overcome your nerves and deliver an interesting, enriching, pleasant—maybe even fun—recitation?
  • Did you know your text so well that you didn't even seem to be calling upon your memory in order to deliver the recitation?

I’m looking for performance here, not solely rote memorization.

CHECK OUT **THIS LINK** for more information and examples of how to deliver an excellent recitation.


These essays are formal writing assignments, and I expect college-level attention to not only content, but also spelling, sentence structure, and originality of ideas.
-- Your topic assignment for each of these essays is to choose and watch carefully one of the five-minute courses in any of the ten categories you'll find on the website Prager University, and write an analysis that follows these guidelines.

-- Length requirement: 1-1/2 to 2 pages (typed, double-spaced, proofread, MLA formatting, stapled--not paper-clipped!).

--I'm looking for competent (excellent, even!) college-level writing (double-spaced, 12-point font including headers, spell-checked, and proof-read for clarity and logical flow), and I will assess each of your essays according to the rubric below.

-- See your syllabus for due dates.

--You may revise the first response essay for additional credit; **please see these instructions** if you opt to do so.


With the Learning Outcomes of this project in mind, I will grade each of your submissions according to the following criteria:

A (90-100)--Thoughtful, insightful, compelling writing; they're also well-worded and spell-checked, and demonstrate that you've taken time to think seriously about the substance of our course discussions. I will reserve grades of 95-100 for essays that smoothly integrate a word from our ongoing vocabulary-building lists, and which show intellectually-honest engagement with the material.

B (80-89)--Your essays respond capably to the course material, and they articulate an original insight about the various topics, with appropriate tone, word-choices, with no distracting patterns of error in writing. B-level journal entries might not be compelling, but they go beyond surface-level responses, and they're generally insightful and well-written.

C (70-79)--C-level essays adhere to all of the assignment’s requirements; they focus on a course-related topic, provide competent analysis regarding its relevance to your own experience beyond the classroom. They contain minimal that undermine the coherence of your ideas.

D (60-69)--A grade of D on any essay results from: a) failure to adhere to assignment’s requirements; b) inadequate response to the course material; c) a lack of analysis and/or mere repetition of factual details about the topic; d) pervasive grammatical and /or mechanical errors that interfere severely with coherence.

F (50-59)--A failing grade is the result of two or more of the problems listed above under “D.”

I do not accept any late work; I know this is a tough policy...however, being late with your class work hinders your own progress as well as that of your classmates, especially in a class of this nature. I define a "late assignment" as one that you have not given to me (not left in my drop-box, but physically placed in my hands) before I leave campus on the day the assignment's due.

The USG and UWG have become concerned with “Non-Engaged” students – those whose level of interest and engagement in the learning process is not optimal, and is thus setting them up for failure.

In order to help students perform to the utmost of their abilities,professors must identify and report non-engaged students to Student Servicesand other appropriate university offices, in order to assure timely interventionand support. I hope I won't have to report anyone in this class as “non-engaged”; let's work together to assure your success in this course!

And Finally...
Please **click on this link** to a document that the University of West Georgia requires that we include on every syllabus; do read it over carefully, as it touches upon matters that will affect your college career.