Welcome to the class blog of COM 315! This course adderssses the specific challenges involved in communicating complex, technical information to both lay and experienced audiences. Throughout the semester, we will be reading several journal articles relating to how presenters can communicate complex ideas in a clear and understanding way. Students are required to reflect on these articles in the blog, as well as apply the readings to real-world instances.

Calendar of Events

Monday, November 5, 2007

Persuasive Speech - Recycling

Persuasive Speech – recycling


  • Attention getter – How many people read a paper on a daily bases? How many people throw it in the trash can when they are done? How many people drink some sort of bottled drink throughout the day? How many of those people throw it in the trash can when they are done?
  • Relativity – There in lays the problem. Too many people do not recycle and it is slowly killing this Earth we call home. When you are at your house or apartment or dorm do you take your trash and just throw it on the floor when finished? Well that is essentially what we are doing when we chose not to recycle.
  • Today I’ll bring to the forefront the problem we face with trash buildup on our Earth, how recycling helps and what it does, and what we can do to help.


1. We face a large problem with trash build up on our Earth.

§ John Calhoun, co-owner of Custom Polymers Inc., states in his May 21st 2007 article “Solving the problem of supply vs. demand;
Weary of the short shrift, plastics recyclers work to raise awareness, collection” that recycling in the United States used to be near 40%.

§ Not only in the US. SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) stated in a July 24th 2007 article “War on Waste” that Scotland has increased their landfill capacity by 22 million tones in the just the past year. An increase of 15% over last year. In a May 30th 2007 article from The Evening Standard (London) “'Rising' landfill could cost London Pounds 1.7bn in fines from Europe” the Environmental Agency shows that landfill waste over the paste two years has risen from 6.2 to 7.7 million tons which could cost them a fine of 1.7 billion pounds. About equal to 3.5 billion American dollars.

§ On a smaller scale, the availability of recycling opportunities at Purdue University. Recycling bins and recycling pick up.

Transition: With the increase in landfills we need to recycle.

2. Recycling is more than just not throwing recyclable goods in the trash. It’s more than throwing recyclable goods in plastic bin. There is a lot that goes into recycling.

§ Recycling is a very technically detailed process. According to a University of Oregon Article about “What Happens When You Recycle” we can take a look at the technical process behind a lot of common household recyclable goods.

§ Some common goods include newspaper, cardboard, aluminum, steel cans, glass, motor oil, and plastics.

§ Let’s take a closer look at two that we mentioned earlier newspaper and plastics.

§ Newspaper goes through a chemical process that separates the paper fibers from the ink. After becoming pulp, washed, and going through several sets of cleaning screens the fibers are flattened and dried to be reused as newspaper.

§ Plastic are shredded, baled, or chipped before they are shipped off to a reprocessing plant. There resins are melted and remolded into new products. For example, flower pots, car parts, toys, drainage pipe, etc.

Transition: I know many of you are thinking, but what am I supposed to do. I’m merely a single college student with no voice.

3. There are various ways we can make a difference.

§ On a large scale we can contact our Congress. Write letters expressing our feelings for a stronger need for recycling. By going to http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ is an easy way to voice your opinion. The website states that it is the easiest way to contact the Congress. There are easy links to figure out who specifically you can address your concern to depending on where you live and boasts that since October 31st 2007 there are 536 email addresses.

§ We can also start at “home” right here at Purdue. We can contact President Cordova or our student council. We need to bring to their attention this same information and our concern. Purdue’s homepage, www.purdue.edu, has a drop down tab labeled “meet the president.” There president Cordova invites anyone with ideas or concern to send her their comment in an attached section at the bottom of the page.

§ We need to show that recycling bins and pick-ups should be alongside every garbage can on campus. I don’t want to blame the lack of recycling on you, because there is a lack of opportunity. But I WILL blame a lack of change on the amount we recycle on you. We all need to take a stand for what we believe is right. For what we know is right.


4. Review statement: I hope you have a deeper appreciation for the troubles that face us with an increase in the landfills all over the world. Also, I hope I have explained clearly how recycling helps the re-use of goods and how we CAN make a difference for the future.

5. Attention getter: I hope you don’t sit by and watch our Earth turn into a ball of trash. Stand up for what you know is right. Voice your opinion. And let your actions speak louder than your words. Next time you pick up that Exponent or take a drink out of that bottle, make a conscious effort to find a recycling bin, not a trash can.


Cabanela, Juan. (2007, October 31.) Contacting the Congress. Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/.

Calhoun, John. (2007, May 21). Solving the problem of supply vs. demand;
Weary of the short shrift, plastics recyclers work to raise awareness, collection
. Retrieved November 2, 2007, from http://www2.lib.purdue.edu:2116/us/lnacademic/auth/checkbrowser.do?ipcounter=1&cookieState=0&rand=0.716820513213289&bhcp=1.

Facilities Services. (2001, May 9). What happens when you recycle. Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://www.uoregon.edu/~recycle/Factoids_whatHappens_facts.htm.

Purdue University. (2007). Meet the President; Contact Dr. Cordova. Retrieved November 4, 2007, from http://www.purdue.edu/president/contact/index.html.

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. (2007, July 24). War on Waste: 22m tonnes of rubbish a year - and rising. Retrieved November 2, 2007, from http://www2.lib.purdue.edu:2116/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?risb=21_T2411523681&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T2411523694&cisb=22_T2411523693&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=146174&docNo=4.

The Evening Standard (London). (2007, May 30). 'Rising' landfill could cost London Pounds 1.7bn in fines from Europe. Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://www2.lib.purdue.edu:2116/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?risb=21_T2411537233&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T2411537238&cisb=22_T2411537237&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=138528&docNo=1.

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