Make a point assignment

Choose one or two other people to work with you on this assignment.

Choose one of the following points:

  1. More people should donate blood.
  2. More people should be organ donors.
  3. College is worth it.
  4. Exercise is important.
  5. Everyone should wear his or her seat belt.
  6. Diet is important.
  7. Smoking is bad for you.

(I assign these points because I know there is a ton of easily found information.)

Don’t use blogs, editorials, or opinion pieces. From a minimum of three different, reliable sources listed here, find:

  1. one detailed story/example that logically supports your point.  (Remember that a story is one thing that happened one time to one person, team, village etc.)
  2. one simple, clear statistic that logically supports your point
  3. one piece of expert testimony that logically supports your point.

Don’t be afraid to modify your point to fit the evidence you find.

Assign speaking parts to each group member.

Practice.

Orally, present your point and evidence to the class. Don’t worry about introductions, conclusions, transitions, or delivery for this assignment. Simply state the point, explain each piece of evidence and its source, state the point again, and sit down.

READ THE COMPLETED EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

A few notes about group work:  Students usually benefit from the thoughts and insights of other group members.  Often the instructor can’t quickly answer a question when a classmate can, and many times groups create less work for each individual.  However, groups can be a hassle too.  Sometimes group members don’t show up or do the work they’ve committed to.  Sometimes they do poor work or are overly argumentative.  For this to work, several thing have to happen.  You must trade school email addresses and make an effort to communicate with one another; and, here’s the hard part, if someone doesn’t show up or do their part, you have to do it.  In other words, if both of your group members never emailed you back and didn’t show up with their work ready, you still have to have the whole thing prepared.  I know this is a bummer, but it’s the only way to keep you caught up.  So if you found the story for this assignment and the others were supposed to find the statistic and expert testimony, but it’s 24 hours before it’s due and they haven’t replied to your emails, you need to go find the statistic and expert testimony yourself. In any case, the day this is due, make sure you walk in with all three pieces of evidence in your hand.

Grading Criteria:

  • Stated point clearly at beginning and end.
  • Included one story(paraphrased in 150 or fewer words), one statistic (paraphrased in 50 or fewer words), and one expert testimony (paraphrased in 50 or fewer words) that help convince the audience the point is true.
  • The story, the statistic, and the expert testimony came from three unique sources.
  • Information came from credible, well-known sources, and those sources were cited in a way that convinced the audience.
  • A web link is included below each piece of evidence.

EXAMPLE:

Sandy Wilson, Tinqua Jackson, Emir Rostenkowski

Point: For-profit colleges need greater regulation

STORY – “In February, Patricia Ann Bowers told ThinkProgress that she owed about $57,000 in student-loan debt. The now-54-year-old mother was a student at Everest College—one of several institutions owned by the for-profit operation, Corinthian College. During her time there, Bowers’s son committed suicide. When she asked about taking time off, she was strongly discouraged and was assured that if she failed her current classes, she could retake them for free. But that wasn’t true, and after Bowers paid to repeat coursework, the school shut down leaving her with a mountain of debt, no degree, and near her federal borrowing limit.”
The Atlantic, 2015
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/the-failure-of-for-profit-colleges/405301/

STATISTIC – “Today, for-profit students account for 47% of all loan defaults. Indeed, one in four for-profit students will default on their loans within three years—as opposed to 8.7% of students at non-profit four-year institutions.”
Time, 2012
http://business.time.com/2012/01/09/for-profit-schools-agile-predators-or-just-business-savvy/

EXPERT TESTIMONY – “The report—titled “The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators”—suggests that alumni of for-profit colleges tend to get lower salaries and are less enthusiastic about their degrees six months after enrolling than are their peers at nonprofit schools.”
US News and World Report, 2012
https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2012/03/23/students-at-for-profit-colleges-earn-less-study-says

Point: For-profit colleges need greater regulation