September 23

Outline for Civic Artifact Speech


**Should I use all that is here? Should I just use song…?

  • Use personal memory to draw audience in—eighth grade history teacher and John Mayer Song “waiting on the world to change”—how he disliked that song said waiting on world to change—why not go change it yourself? Well, I think that was the point of the song.
    • “one day our generation is gonna rule the population”—quote from song—play at beginning of speech
  • We as generation Z are labeled as those that are truly going to change the world for the better-we have been tasked to leave this earth better than we have found it—that’s a pretty daunting task, but what better time to figure out how we are to do that than college.
    • We’ve heard it from our parents, teachers, friends, etc.
  • When thinking about how we are to go about changing the world, my mind drifted to law—a concrete way to promote change and then I began to think about how law is represented—the scales of justice and lady justice and whether they accurately portray civic justice and call us to be officers of the law.


  • I’m not quite sure why when asked to give a speech on a civic artifact I thought of the scales of justice
    • It might be from an interest in a career in that field, a Constitutional law class I took in high school—I’m not sure
  • Regardless, I felt this draw to justice and how its symbolic representation could possibly be analyzed to contradict how it should be portrayed in everyday life. Why separate the scale? Why divide a system where division has caused so many problems? Why cannot we think of justice as one collective effort, one scale, and weigh it for excellence, effect, or improvement?

Expand Idea/explain point

  • The law is clearly a commonplace among us, but it can be interpreted by others in many ways.
  • Historically, lady justice or the scales of justice descended from the god Justitia.
  • Popularly represented as blindfold, holding a sword in one hand and the scales in another, Lady Justice embodies many contradictions. Why must justice be divided? How can we actively change the world for the better if we are blindfolded to what is right in front of us? Can punishment be so simply regulated and dished out? How can we change what has been for centuries? How can we be civic when we are unsure of how to achieve that under the law?
  • Why are we called to weigh our decisions? Good or bad, right or wrong, is it ever so clear cut?
  • What can be more civic than living by the law of the land? Using that law to improve the situation of others.


  • What’s the point?
  • Why is this civic
    • Why do we feel the need to be better citizens/to live up to a standard?
      • Cause it is the only way to improve the system and to make a difference—live up to the standard in order to change it
    • So, don’t wait to change the world. Answer the call of justice?

Posted September 23, 2016 by paw5281 in category Uncategorized

1 thoughts on “Outline for Civic Artifact Speech

  1. abh5379

    Overall I think this is a very interesting idea and I think this outline is definitely heading in the right direction. I’m not sure you need the song in the beginning, although it would work well if you talked about it I think playing it would distract from your actual artifact: lady justice. I also was a little confused about some of the questions you posed. It was always my understanding that the scales were separated to “weigh” the arguments presented and that she was blind because “justice is blind” and the point is to objectively decide the outcomes of trials (whichever side had more irrefutable evidence would decide which way the scale tipped). But this is all background information that isn’t necessarily important to your point, which is (as I understand it) to prove how lady justice is an artifact that inspires people to act for change and justice. I think you did a really good job of outlining these points and how your artifact frames people to act civically. However, I would say that you should try to focus more on how this artifact acts rhetorically to inspire civic behavior. If you did this in your outline and I completely missed it (which is very possible) I would say try to outline it more explicitly so that it is more obvious (or not because, again, I could just be totally oblivious here). Overall though good job and I hope my feedback helps!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *