In-class activity for supporting materials

Imagine that as you are leaving class today you find a piece of paper on the ground and pick it up. It is a check made out to bearer (it’s in your hand, that’s you!) in the amount of $30,000. However, it is not endorsed. The back of the check says that it will be endorsed if the bearer of the check can prove that they will use it to buy a new safe and reliable car within 48 hours and has a phone number.

So there is a free car in it for you if you can prove to someone that you have chosen a safe and reliable automobile.

Break the students into groups and have them list at least five places they would seek good information on the car. When they finish, make up a master list and then go through each item and put it to the test:

  • Is this source likely to be accurate?
  • Is its information relevant to your goal?
  • Is it possibly biased?
  • Is it going to contain up-to-date information?

This leads into a discussion of why supporting materials need to be put to the test and why having a variety of supporting materials will make your arguments stronger.


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About teachingpublicspeaking

I believe public speaking can go from most dreaded class to favorite class. I'm a former public speaking college instructor who spent years seeking out activities, assignments and examples to make the class interactive as well as educational -- they are collected here. I welcome suggestions for additions.

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