Information for Students, Panelists, Parents, and Guests
As part of their final course in Rhetoric, each Senior has completed research on a controversial topic and written a paper advocating a particular view on that topic. The paper had to demonstrate four major competencies: Content (Is there substance and is the argument well supported?), Organization (Does the paper show a logical structure and is it organized well?), Grammar/Conventions (Are there errors? Does the paper flow well? Does it transition well? Does it conform to MLA standards?), and Eloquence (Is it convincing? Is it gracious as it persuades?).
For the Oral Defense, the Seniors are to modify their papers (if or as necessary) so as to be able to read them to an audience. Thereafter, a guest panel will ask students questions about their argument. Questions may be similar to the following:
What evidence constitutes your primary support for your position?
What is the most significant counter-argument for your position, and how would you answer it?
Did you think about X when conducting your research?
What was your opinion on this topic before you wrote your paper? How did that affect your research?
The guest panel is not to be a hostile panel. (This is not a graduate history oral defense, which is notorious for thrashing doctoral candidates!) Our panel will be friendly, yet will provide a serious context suitable for the rhetorical skills the seniors should be able to display.
The Oral Defense will take place Tuesday evening, May 17th, at 6:30 P.M. in the Vine Street Baptist Fellowship Hall. Family members and guests are welcome to attend.
Our panelists are all prominent community members and leaders, and we are thankful for their participation and donation of time. They are:
Douglas Feldkamp, President and CEO of Umpqua Dairy Products, Co.
Lisa Platt, President of Mercy Foundation, Inc.
Sean Smith, President and CEO of Starfire Lumber Co.