UC120 Instruction
  • Although each instructor that teaches UC120 has significant latitude in determining how the course is taught, there are several common elements that are mandatory for every section. This section will provide you with a baseline understanding of these elements.

    Speaking Styles

    The primary style of speaking that is taught in UC120 is extemporaneous speaking, as this is the most practical and widely useful type. Extemporaneous speaking involves creating a detailed outline of the presentation, reducing it to key words, quotes, and citation information, and delivering the speech from these notes. This requires the speaker to choose their words "on-the-fly." The advantage of this style is that it is the most similar to normal conversation. Students will also be exposed to impromptu, memorized, and manuscript speaking.

    Types of Speeches

    Students are required to present an informative speech, a persuasive speech, and either a memorized or manuscript speech in order to complete the class.

    Speech Structures

    Students are given one outline format for the informative speech. This follows a standard introduction-body-conclusion format. For the persuasive speech, there are four potential goals, and each goal has one or more potential outline structures that are appropriate (see UC120 Terminology for details).


    Students are taught about effective listening techniques. One of these is comprehensive listening, which is listening without judgment to understand the speaker. Another is critical listening, which is evaluating the speaker's argument based upon their evidence and reasoning.


    In UC120, students are taught to use in-text citations on written work, such as outlines. They are also instructed to use visual citations on presentational aids when they use other people's words pictures or ideas on those aids. Finally, they are instructed to use verbal citations in the spoken portion of their speech whenever attribution is appropriate. The standard expectation is at least author, title, and year.

    Written Speech Evaluation

    Students are required to write at least one self-critique which involves watching a recording of their speech and reflecting upon the positives and negatives.


    In a significant majority of the sections of UC120, students are required to do a one-on-one rehearsal of their speech with the instructor at least a week prior to giving the speech. This allows the instructor to give them feedback with enough time for the student to fix errors and refine their efforts.