Detailed Table of Contents

Introduction to University Core A and this Handbook

  1. What is University Core A?
  2. Why are you required to take Core Curriculum courses, including those in University Core A?
  3. What additional courses am I required to take as part of the Core Curriculum?
  4. Why is the University Core A Handbook so important to my education at Radford University?
  5. What is the relationship between University Core A and academic integrity?
  6. What resources are available to help me meet the Standards of Student Conduct?
  7. What do I do if I need help with my University Core A courses?
  8. What is the Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC) and how can I get help there?
  9. How do I get help at McConnell Library?
  10. How is University Core A evaluated?

Core 101. Essentials of Written and Oral Communication

Core 101. Essentials of Written and Oral Communication

Introduction to Core 101

Personal Essay

Objective I. Explore a focused topic in writing.

  1. What is an essay?
  2. How do I focus my ideas?
  3. What is a thesis statement?
  4. Does a personal essay have to have a thesis statement?
  5. Where should I place my thesis statement?
  6. How do I use my thesis statement to talk to other people?
  7. How is a thesis statement like a claim?

Objective II. Demonstrate awareness of purpose and audience through language and style choices.

  1. Why should I care about my audience?
  2. Who is my audience?
  3. How do I show that I have considered my audience?
  4. How do I write for an audience that includes my instructor?
  5. What do I want to accomplish through my communication?
  6. How can I use language appropriately and effectively to accomplish my writing goals?

Objective III. Use topic sentences and appropriate transitions.

  1. How do I begin a personal essay?
  2. What is a topic sentence?
  3. What is the purpose of a body paragraph in a personal essay?
  4. How do I structure a body paragraph in a personal essay?
  5. What is an illustration?
  6. What is a transition?
  7. How can I make an effective transition?
  8. How do I conclude a personal essay?

Objective IV. Use standard written English when appropriate.

  1. What is grammar?
  2. What is usage?
  3. What is the difference between grammar and usage?
  4. Why should I care about usage?
  5. What counts as “proper” grammar?
  6. What if I don’t use “proper” grammar?

Approaches to Written Argument

Objective I. Evaluate the assumptions and arguments of different authors.

  1. What is an argument?
  2. How do I identify an author’s assumptions?
  3. How do I identify an author’s argument?
  4. How do I compare and contrast multiple authors?
  5. What is an effective argument?
  6. What is an ineffective argument?

Objective II. Identify ethos, logos, and pathos.

  1. What is logos?
  2. What should an author consider when using logos in an argument?
  3. What is ethos?
  4. What should an author consider when using ethos in an argument?
  5. What is pathos?
  6. What should an author consider when using pathos in an argument?
  7. How can logos, ethos, and pathos work together?
  8. What is the rhetorical triangle?
  9. How are logos, ethos, and pathos related to the rhetorical triangle?

Objective III. Integrate quotations and paraphrases from a reading into an essay.

  1. What is a primary source?
  2. What is a secondary source?
  3. Can an author use primary and secondary sources in the same piece of writing?
  4. What is a tertiary source?
  5. How does a writer signal that she is using a source?
  6. How does a writer signal that she is finished using a source?
  7. How does a writer signal his opposition to a source’s opinion?

Objective IV. Cite sources correctly, both via in-text citations and in a list of sources.

  1. What is a quotation?
  2. When should I quote?
  3. How long should a quotation be?
  4. What is a paraphrase?
  5. When should I paraphrase?
  6. What is effective paraphrasing?
  7. When does paraphrasing become plagiarism?
  8. How do I use signal phrases to introduce quotations and paraphrases?
  9. How do I make a quotation work with the grammar of my own sentence?
  10. How do I make a quotation work with the grammar of my own sentence if I am not quoting a complete sentence?
  11. What punctuation should I use with quotations?
  12. What is plagiarism?
  13. Why should I cite?
  14. How can I avoid plagiarism?
  15. What is common knowledge?
  16. What is APA?
  17. How do I format references?
  18. What do I do if my source differs from the basic pattern for a reference?
  19. How do I format in-text citations?

Objective V. Use tone, mechanics, and style appropriate to a college-educated audience.

  1. What are mechanics?
  2. What resources are available to help me with mechanics?
  3. What is tone?
  4. How does a writer control tone?
  5. What is style?
  6. Is style fixed?
  7. How does audience affect style?
  8. What is genre?
  9. How does genre affect style?
  10. What is academic writing?

Academic Argument Essay

Objective 1. Make a debatable claim about a topic.

  1. What is a claim?
  2. When is a claim debatable?
  3. How do I begin an argument essay?
  4. How do I introduce a topic and explain its significance?
  5. How do I use my thesis statement to state a main claim and key supporting ideas at the same time?
  6. How do I use my thesis statement and key ideas to organize my argument?
  7. How do I use my thesis and key ideas to organize my argument when speaking?
  8. What is the purpose of a body paragraph in an argument essay?
  9. How do I structure a body paragraph to support my thesis?

Objective II. Support all claims with evidence.

  1. What are the types of evidence?
  2. How do you decide how much evidence you need?
  3. How can you use STAR to assess appeals to logos?
  4. What makes evidence relevant, not just related?

Objective III. Analyze a multifaceted issue in writing.

  1. Why is it important to be able to analyze an issue?
  2. What kinds of things should I consider when analyzing an issue?
  3. How do I identify the different people involved in an issue?
  4. How do I identify the facts of an issue?
  5. How do I identify what is at stake in an issue?
  6. How do I conclude an argument?

Objective IV. Acknowledge the Legitimate Concerns of Others.

  1. Why is it important to acknowledge the legitimate concerns of others?
  2. How do I acknowledge the legitimate concerns of others?

Core 102- Advanced Written and Oral Communication

Core 102- Introduction

Research Process

Objective I. Create a Research Question.

  1. What is research?
  2. Why should I do research?
  3. What is the research process?
  4. How do I pick a topic?
  5. What is background research?
  6. Are there topics I should avoid?
  7. What is a research question?
  8. How do I create a research question?
  9. What are some examples of effective and ineffective research questions?

Objective II. Create a search strategy.

  1. What is a search strategy?
  2. How do I create a search strategy?

Objective III. Identify keywords, synonyms, and related terms.

  1. What are keywords?
  2. How do I choose keywords?
  3. How do I build up a bank of search words?

Objective IV. Use non-subject-specific databases appropriately matched to the target assignment.

  1. What is a library database?
  2. What is the library catalog?
  3. What is SuperSearch?
  4. How are SuperSearch and the library catalog different from Google?
  5. Why should I use a library database?
  6. How do I get help with library research?

Objective V. Apply critical reasoning in critiquing claims made by experts, media, or other sources of information.

  1. How do I know if a source is credible?
  2. How do I know if a source is appropriate for my project?
  3. Who is an expert?
  4. How do I decide if someone is an expert?
  5. How do I decide if someone’s expertise is relevant?
  6. How do you know if you should trust the expert?
  7. What is bias?
  8. How can I read all my sources?
  9. Why should I take notes?
  10. How does note-taking help me to understand a text?
  11. Which aspects of the text should I consider when taking notes?
  12. How does good note-taking help me to avoid plagiarizing?
  13. How should I approach taking notes?
  14. What strategies are available to me when taking notes?

Researched Argument

Objective I. Incorporate a variety of appropriate sources into an essay that contributes to a complex conversation.

  1. What is a complex conversation?
  2. How do my sources contribute to a discussion?
  3. How can I identify an author’s motives?
  4. How can I identify an author’s intended audience?
  5. How can I identify a source’s place within an ongoing conversation?
  6. How do I distinguish between sources of opinion and sources of information?

Objective II. Write a thesis statement that attempts to distinguish the student’s ideas from a number of perspectives.

  1. What techniques for handling sources can help me show how my ideas compare with the ideas of others?
  2. How can summarizing help me show how my ideas compare with the ideas of others?
  3. How can paraphrasing help me show how my ideas compare with the ideas of others?
  4. How can quoting help me show how my ideas compare with the ideas of others?
  5. How can attributions help me show how my ideas compare with the ideas of others?
  6. What words and phrases can I use to show how my ideas compare with another person’s ideas?
  7. How can I use adverbial clauses to show how my ideas compare with another person’s ideas?
  8. How can I position my thesis to make use of a summary, paraphrase, or quotation to show how my ideas compare with the ideas of others?
  9. How can I word my introduction and thesis to make use of words, phrases, and clauses that show how one person’s ideas compare with the ideas of others?

Objective III. Find examples and other types of evidence to support a claim.

Objective IV. Identify one’s own and others’ biases with regard to the topic.

  1. Why is it important for me to identify my biases?
  2. What is confirmation bias?
  3. How do I avoid confirmation bias?

Objective V. Locate appropriate sources.

Objective VI. Create references correctly.

  1. Why should I provide references?
  2. What format should I follow for my references?
  3. Do I need to memorize the format for my references?

Approaches to Oral Argument

Objective I. Identify the overall theme or message of a speech.

  1. How do I identify the purpose of a speech?
  2. What are different types of speeches?
  3. How can I distinguish the main claim from the supporting claims?
  4. How can I identify the key ideas used by a speaker?

Objective II: Recognize how a speaker tailors a speech to his or her audience and speaking context.

  1. Who is the audience?
  2. What is the speaking context?
  3. How does a speaker tailor his or her speech to a particular audience?
  4. What is the difference between verbal and nonverbal communication?
  5. What is a symbol?
  6. What are effective techniques of vocal delivery?
  7. What are effective techniques of physical delivery?
  8. What can I learn from analyzing a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Informative Speech

Objective I. Organize a Speech Using a Manageable Number of Clearly-Stated Key Ideas.

  1. What is the purpose of an informative speech?
  2. What is the difference between an informative speech and a persuasive speech?
  3. How can I make sure my message is clear and focused?
  4. How can I use language in ways that are appropriate for my audience?
  5. What are the different kinds of support that I can use to develop my main claim and my supporting claims?
  6. How do I know if I have enough support?
  7. How will my use of examples and evidence in CORE 102 differ from the use I made of them in CORE 101?
  8. How can I determine the best order for my support?
  9. When can support stand alone?

Objective II. Arrange Key Ideas in a Logical Order.

  1. What are the different ways to organize the body of a speech?
  2. Why should I outline my speech?
  3. What should I base my outline on?
  4. What are the guidelines for a properly formatted outline?
  5. Once the body is complete, what else should I include with the outline?

Objective III. Use organizational cues to help the audience follow a speech’s key ideas.

  1. How do I help the audience follow the main points of my speech?
  2. What are some types of transitions?
  3. How can I use my delivery to emphasize my speech’s organization?
  4. How do I write an introduction to a speech?
  5. Why do I create an attention-getting step?
  6. What are some types of attention-getters?
  7. How do I know which type of attention-getter may be best for my topic and audience?
  8. How do I incorporate pathos into my attention-getter?
  9. How do I build credibility and rapport with the audience in the attention-getting step?
  10. How do I state my topic?
  11. How do I make my speech relevant to my audience?
  12. How do I do a preview step?
  13. How should each main point and its supporting information be organized?
  14. How do I compose a speech conclusion?

Objective IV. Develop strategies for delivering your speech with confidence.

  1. What are some physical and mental strategies for minimizing nerves/discomfort when giving an oral presentation?
  2. How do I best deliver a speech introduction?
  3. How do I best deliver a speech conclusion?

Core 201-Topics in Critical Inquiry

Core 201 Introduction

The Logical Structure of Arguments

  1. What is inductive reasoning?
  2. What are the limitations of inductive reasoning?
  3. What is required for appropriate cause and effect reasoning?
  4. What is required for an appropriate generalization?
  5. What is deductive reasoning?
  6. What is a premise?
  7. Why should I evaluate the truth of a premise?
  8. How do I evaluate the truth of a premise?
  9. Why should I evaluate unstated or suppressed premises as well as stated ones?
  10. How does argument diagramming or outlining help to illuminate the structure of an argument?
  11. What is the purpose of diagramming or outlining an argument?
  12. What are the steps to diagramming or outlining an argument?
  13. How can the argument’s paragraphing help me evaluate how the author uses premises?
  14. How is a conclusion like a thesis statement?

Formal and Informal Fallacies

  1. What are fallacies?
  2. What is a formal fallacy?
  3. Why is it important to recognize formal fallacies?
  4. What is an informal fallacy?
  5. How can ethos, logos, and pathos be used to test an argument for fallacies?
  6. How do fallacies weaken arguments?
  7. Where can I find more information about generalizations, fallacies, analogies, and syllogisms?

Appeals to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

  1. How do I evaluate an appeal to ethos?
  2. How do I recognize when an appeal to ethos is manipulative?
  3. What fallacies misuse appeals to ethos?
  4. How do I evaluate an appeal to logos?
  5. How do I recognize when an appeal to logos is manipulative?
  6. What fallacies misuse appeals to logos?
  7. How do I evaluate an appeal to pathos?
  8. How do I recognize when an appeal to pathos is manipulative?
  9. What fallacies misuse appeals to pathos?
  10. Under what contexts are fallacies committed?

Framing, Word Choice, and Biases

  1. How do effective communicators choose language for their arguments?
  2. What uses of language are inappropriate?
  3. What is propaganda?
  4. How can I tell if language is being used as a tool for audience manipulation?
  5. What is framing bias?
  6. What is confirmation bias?
  7. What can I learn about fallacies from advertising?
  8. When can I trust a poll or survey?
  9. How does scientific sampling lead to credible premises?
  10. How can reliance on scientific reasoning reduce bias?

Using Research to Support Your Arguments

  1. How is research like a conversation?
  2. Why do I need to use different types of sources?
  3. What makes a source scholarly?
  4. What is peer review?
  5. How are scholarly sources different from popular sources?
  6. Is everything published in a journal a scholarly article?
  7. How can I identify a scholarly source?
  8. Why should I use scholarly sources?
  9. How can I best read scholarly sources?
  10. When should I use popular sources?
  11. Where can I find scholarly sources?
  12. Why are there different databases?
  13. Why should I use a subject-specific database?
  14. What information do I need to collect in order to cite scholarly sources?
  15. How do I avoid plagiarism while incorporating sources into my own work?
  16. Why should I address different viewpoints?
  17. How do I integrate different viewpoints into my arguments?
  18. Why do I need to represent the other side fairly?
  19. How can I evaluate the credibility of these sources?

Argument Analysis Assignment

  1. What is an argument analysis?
  2. What tasks do I perform that will help me begin an argument analysis?
  3. What is the place of evaluation in an argument analysis?
  4. What type of writing is used for argument analysis?
  5. What should I include in a critique of an argument?

Annotated Bibliography

  1. What is an annotated bibliography?
  2. Why do I need to write one?
  3. What is the difference between an annotated bibliography and a list of references?
  4. What is an abstract?
  5. What should I include in an annotation?
  6. What should I not include in an annotation?
  7. In what order should I list my sources in my annotated bibliography?
  8. Can I use an online tool to create my references?
  9. How can preparing an annotated bibliography help me refine research questions and answers?

Persuasive Speech

  1. What is a persuasive speech?
  2. How do I use an audience’s beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors to shape the purpose of my speech?
  3. How is a persuasive speech different from an informative speech?
  4. How is persuasion different from manipulation?
  5. How do I word a claim?
  6. How do I use others’ arguments in the context of a claim?
  7. How do I use language to enhance a presentation?
  8. How do I structure my persuasive speech?
  9. How do I cite my sources to enhance my credibility and help the audience understand my presentation?
  10. How can I use nonverbal communication to enhance my message?
  11. How do I create an effective visual aid?
  12. How do I integrate my visual aids into my presentation without being distracting?
  13. How do I cite images correctly on the visual aid?

 

Core 202 – Topics in Ethical Inquiry

Core 202 – Introduction

Ethical Reasoning

  1. What is meant by “ethics”?
  2. What is not “ethics”?
  3. What does it mean to be ethical?
  4. Do “ethical” and “moral” mean the same thing?
  5. What are values?
  6. What are some examples of ethical issues?
  7. How can I effectively apply critical reasoning to an ethical issue?
  8. When I debate ethical issues, what is my responsibility to people who are part of the dialogue?
  9. What are ethical judgments?
  10. How can I distinguish ethical judgments from other kinds of value judgments?
  11. What are ethical arguments?
  12. What is an ethical dilemma?
  13. What is the role of values in ethical dilemmas?
  14. What ethical dilemmas are more common in real life?
  15. What is an ethical violation?
  16. How does self-interest affect people’s ethical choices?
  17. What is the difference between good ethical reasoning and mere rationalization?
  18. What kinds of rationalizations do people make for their actions?*
  19. How can I tell what is the “right” thing to do?
  20. What is moral relativism?
  21. What is the main weakness of moral relativism?
  22. What is universalism?
  23. What is consequentialism?
  24. What is utilitarianism?
  25. How does utilitarian reasoning operate?
  26. How has utilitarian reasoning been applied?
  27. What is the main weakness of utilitarianism?
  28. How do I apply utilitarianism in real life?
  29. What is deontology?
  30. What is duty-based ethics?
  31. What is rights-based ethics?
  32. What is the appeal of deontology?
  33. What is the main weakness of duty and rights-based ethics?
  34. How can I apply deontology in real life?
  35. What is virtue ethics?
  36. What is care ethics?
  37. How does virtue ethics operate?
  38. What kinds of questions are asked by virtue ethics?
  39. How has virtue ethics been applied in the real world?
  40. What is the main weakness of virtue ethics?
  41. How can I apply virtue ethics in real life?
  42. How do these theories fit into my ethics toolbox?
  43. How do I use ethical reasoning to make decisions?
  44. How do I recognize an ethical situation?
  45. How do I identify stakeholders?
  46. How do I identify the different perspectives and positions held by stakeholders?
  47. How can I research stakeholder positions?
  48. How do I identify the ethical actor?
  49. How can I use critical thinking in this process?
  50. What are criteria?
  51. How do I identify possible actions?
  52. How do I evaluate the possible options?
  53. How can mapping or diagramming help me to examine the consequences of decisions or positions with ethical consequences?
  54. What else should I consider before acting?
  55. Am I done after acting?
  56. Do people really do all this when making ethical decisions?

Developing as an academic writer

  1. How can being too informal hurt my writing and speaking style?
  2. How can being too formal hurt my writing and speaking style?
  3. Why is it important to consider connotation when making word choices for an academic essay?
  4. What is the most appropriate level of formality for an academic essay?
  5. How do I incorporate the terminology of the course into my essay?

Group Communication

Contribute to team meetings.

  1. What is a team?
  2. What are the different types of teams?
  3. Why do I need to know how to work in a group?
  4. What makes a team effective?
  5. How can I contribute to my team?
  6. What are the different roles that may need to be performed by group members?
  7. What are the different behaviors that may be exhibited by group members?
  8. What is deviant behavior?
  9. What are examples of deviant behavior?
  10. How can deviant behaviors be avoided or addressed by the group?
  11. How do I avoid engaging in deviant behaviors?
  12. How do I know what roles to take on?
  13. What is leadership?
  14. What leadership behaviors should everyone in the group exhibit?

Working with your team mates

  1. Why should all members be encouraged to contribute to a group?
  2. What are different communication styles?
  3. How does my group deal with different communication styles?
  4. What are the benefits and challenges represented by each communication trait?
  5. What are some ways for my group to keep a dominant communicator from taking over the conversation and to ensure that quieter members contribute?

Foster a constructive team climate.

  1. What is a supportive group climate?
  2. What is a defensive group climate?
  3. How do you change a defensive climate to a supportive one?
  4. What is cohesion?
  5. How do groups build social cohesion?
  6. How do groups build task cohesion?
  7. How is cohesion related to group climate?
  8. How do I communicate in a way that builds and maintains relationships?
  9. What are discounting messages?
  10. How do I avoid discounting messages without enabling groupthink?
  11. What are disconfirming messages?
  12. How do I avoid disconfirming messages?
  13. What is feedback?
  14. Why is it important to give feedback?
  15. How do I give constructive feedback?
  16. How do I respond constructively to feedback?
  17. What are additive tasks?
  18. What are conjunctive tasks?
  19. How do I know whether a task should be additive or conjunctive?

Respond effectively to conflict.

  1. What is conflict?
  2. Why is some conflict normal and necessary for a group?
  3. What are the types of conflict?
  4. How do individuals respond to conflict?
  5. What are some ways to manage conflict?
  6. What can you do when a conflict has arisen?
  7. What are the roles of consensus and compromise in resolving conflicts?
  8. Why does it matter what you do about conflict?

Group Presentations

  1. How is my group’s presentation different from an individual speech?
  2. How can my group’s presentation seem cohesive?
  3. How does my group transition between speakers?
  4. How does my group play to the strengths of individual speakers?
  5. What is appropriate behavior  for the people who aren’t currently speaking?
  6. Should we plan to rehearse our presentation?

Appendix

Core 101

  1. Personal essay (example)
  2. Opposing viewpoints essay (example)
  3. Academic argument essay (example)

Core 102

  1. Research narrative (example)
  2. Researched argument essay (example)
  3. Speech analysis essay (example)

Core 201

  1. Fallacies and other types of manipulative arguments (supplement)
  2. Persuasive speech (supplement)
  3. Argument analysis essay (example)
  4. Annotated bibliography (example)

Core 202

  1. Ethical Reasoning (supplement)
    1. Evaluating Criteria
    2. Stakeholder Analysis
  2. Ethical Analysis Essay (example)
  3. Group Communication (supplement)
    1. Norming group behavior
    2. Leadership
    3. Virtual teams for online classes
    4. Developing ideas and plans as a group
    5. Managing group meetings

 

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