ENG 3U: Questions, Questions

So far, we have discussed rhetorical devices and some basic elements effective oral communication. Today, we will focus on questions, and how they shape our interaction. Let’s begin by consulting the handout I’ve provided.

Next, we will watch a clip from ABC News. As we watch, I want you to pay particular attention to the kinds of questions that are asked. Before we begin, however, I need to introduce some terms to you:

Exploratory Committee: a committee formed by a politician who wants to run for political office in the United States. The committee’s goal is to find out whether the public would support the politician seeking higher office (such as the presidency). Some have argued that these committees allow candidates to spend money on campaigning without accountability.

SuperPAC: PAC stands for Political Action Committee. A SuperPAC is, in theory, independent of the politician it supports; still, because a SuperPAC can raise unlimited amounts of money for the cause of its choice, some believe that SuperPACs are simply a way for a politician’s supporters raise/spend as much money as they want for campaigns.

Louis and Clark: two of America’s earliest explorers.  They were aided by Sacagawea, a Shoshone woman who served as their interpreter and guide. (By the way, does anyone remember the term we use to describe a specific reference to a proper noun that the public should understand?)

Next, you will work a partner to create a two page interview in script form in which one of you is a reporter investigating a controversy in the media. In this interview, you will:

  1. choose a controversy for your interview. I have provided a short article about a controversy on the back of your handout; you may choose others if they are approved by me.
  2. choose a specific role for the interviewee. Who is he/she? What is the connection to the controversy?
  3. ask a various kinds of questions (consult the handout provided)
  4. ask questions in a tone consistent with your stance on the controversy (if you support the person you are interviewing, the questions may be “softer”; if you disagree with the actions of the interviewee during this controversy, your questions will be more hard-hitting).
  5. demonstrate active listening by restating the interviewee’s words at least once
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