Written Speech Due 28 April This Was the Last Day of Class

Written Speech Due 28 April This Was the Last Day of Class

Written Speech – Due 28 April – this was the last day of class

Students posted online via file upload

Select one of the topics you have used as talking points for the various sessions of the Senate and write it up as a formal speech, an opinion (sententia), that could be presented to the senate. You will write this as your character, keeping in mind the faction your character represents. You may also consult the online Discussions for ideas.

The speech should follow the model of either Caesar or Cato as seen in Sallust's Catilinarian conspiracy. It should include the following:

An introduction statement addressing the senators as Patres Conscripti. In the introduction, introduce the issues you will discuss in the body (Argument Aa, Ab, Ac etc).

The body will develop the points introduced. As a sententia you are arguing for a particular action to be taken and the points in the body should present evidence with examples from history to support your case. Part of your support should include example that draw from at least two (2) Roman Virtues from the BIM Supplement. You will also need to include information from at least two (2) ancient sources either from the BIM Handbook or from the ancient authors whose works we have read previously. You will cite these by the author and the work in the text with a full citation in the Works Cited. So, something like this: "In his On Duties, Cicero says …" (BIMH p. #) or In his Ab Urbe Condita, Livy says … (Book #, Loeb p. #).

Your conclusion should allude to the introduction and present a strong statement of your sententia.

Example: Our forefathers founded the republic to bring peace and freedom to Rome and its people.

Aa: Caesar endangers the republic by his tyranny (Show how w/ examples from ancient sources)

Ab: Caesar endangers the Roman people by trying to be king. (Show how w/ examples from ancient sources)

Conclusion: Caesar endangers the republic and the Roman people, therefore, Caesar must be assassinated.

Include a works cited for your sources, in alphabetical order.

Rubric For Written Speech – via Speedgrader


Claim / I make a claim & explain it.
12.5 pts / I make a claim but don't explain it
10.0 pts / My claim is buried, confused or unclear.
8.75 pts / I don't say what my argument or claim is
7.5 pts
/ 12.5 pts
Reasons to support the claim / I make strong arguments to support my character's stance & support those with relevant facts. I also discuss arguments against my stance and refute them.
12.5 pts / I make strong arguments to support my character's stance and support those with relevant facts.
10.0 pts / I make strong arguments to support my character's stance and list some related facts. However my case is not particularly strong.
8.75 pts / I do not give any evidence to support my character's stance.
7.5 pts
/ 12.5 pts
Voice & Tone / It sounds like I care about my argument. I show how I [my character] think and feel about it
12.5 pts / My tone is OK, but my paper could have been written by anyone. I need to tell more about how I think & feel.
10.0 pts / My writing is bland or pretentious. There is either no hint of a real person in it or it sounds like I'm too fake.
8.75 pts / My writing is too formal or too informal. It sounds like I don't like the topic of the essay.
7.5 pts
/ 12.5 pts
Accuracy / My historical statements & facts are very accurate. I include references to 2 ancient sources and Roman virtues.
12.5 pts / There are occasional mistakes in my historical statements. I include only 1 ancient source & 1 Roman virtue.
10.0 pts / There are many historical inaccuracies. I have used only one of either an ancient source or a Roman virtue.
8.75 pts / There are enough mistakes that this essay is misleading. There is no reference to either ancient authors or any Roman virtues.
7.5 pts
/ 12.5 pts
Organization / My writing has a compelling opening, an informative middle, and a satisfying conclusion.
12.5 pts / My writing has a beginning, middle and end. It marches along but does not dance.
10.0 pts / My Writing is organized by sometimes gets off topic.
8.75 pts / My writing is aimless and disorganized.
7.5 pts
/ 12.5 pts
Word Choice / The words I use are striking but natural and vivid.
12.5 pts / I make routine word choices.
10.0 pts / The words I use are often dull or uninspired or sound like I am trying to impress
8.75 pts / I use the same words over & over. Some words may be confusing to a reader.
7.5 pts
/ 12.5 pts
Sentence Fluency / My sentences are clear, complete and of variying lengths.
12.5 pts / I have well-constructed sentences.
10.0 pts / My sentences are sometimes awkward, and/or contain run-ons & fragments
8.0 pts / Many run-ons, fragments & awkward phrasings make my essay hard to read
0.0 pts
/ 12.5 pts
Conventions / I use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. My sources are cited in the text and in Works Cited.
12.5 pts / I generally use correct conventions. I have a couple of errors. I have cited my sources in the text but there is no Works Cited.
10.0 pts / I have enough errors to distract the reader. I have only cited one ancient source in the text and there is no Works Cited.
8.75 pts / Numerous errors make my essay hard to read. I have no in-text citations or a Works Cited.
7.5 pts
/ 12.5 pts
Total Points: 100.0


This worked pretty well as an assignment. About two weeks before the assignment was due, I gave the students a hard copy of the assignment and the rubric to use in part as a check-list. I adapted the rubric from one sent through the Faculty Lounge on FB; unfortunately, I can't remember the author. I liked this because it was keyed to RTTP, but if I use it again I would weight 'Claims & Reasons' more heavily rather than have everything the same weight. There were some problems in that some students did not include ancient sources and some did not included comments about Roman Virtues.