Speech Study Guide

those societies rarely last long. Citizens who are deprived of their freedom of public speech may become restless and discontent. Even in democratic societies, if citizens feel as if their voice does not matter or is not being heard, they will become just as dissatisfied as citizens who are denied their right to freedom of public speech. Within the United States, where freedom and liberty are renowned, young citizens are particularly apathetic in participating in political conventions and protests. However, this apathy is dissolving and more and more citizens are becoming involved in public speaking, especially when they feel wronged and cheated of their basic liberties (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). Citizens are not just speaking about their discontent, but also about their beliefs, specifically their political beliefs. Engaged citizens commonly participate in political organizations, happenings, and events they are passionate about. 1.5 Key Terms • Public speaking is the process and act of speaking to a group of people in a structured, purposeful way in order to impart knowledge, influence, or entertain an audience. • Civic rights are essential conditions for individuals to live happy and successful lives. • Civic engagement is the act of engaging in civic responsibilities and functions. • The speaker is the source or originator of the speech. • Ethics are moral principles that a society, group, or individual holds that differentiates right from wrong. • Plagiarism is passing off ideas, words, or created works of another as one’s own by failing to credit the source. • Integrity is the state of being whole or undivided; it is the quality of being honest and having strong moral character. • Fair mindedness is suspending personal biases to remain open to competing ideas. • Rhetorical tradition is the ancient discipline concerned with the techniques and ethics of speech. It includes three traditions of scholarship which focus on knowledge and skills necessary for democratic citizenship. • Classical tradition emphasizes the character of the speaker and the shared interests of speakers and listeners. • The contemporary view (tradition) shifts the focus to the diversity of the audience and stresses the evidence of the content. • Culture is a set of beliefs, values, and morals shared by a group of people. • Taboo is a topic that is not socially and/or culturally acceptable to discuss or discuss with a certain group of people. • Engaged citizens participate in political organizations and causes they believe in.


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