Student apathy—a lack of motivation or mental presence in the classroom—is common in many academic institutions and courses of study. In Public Speaking courses, speech anxiety can be a factor that contributes to student apathy. To solve this problem, I suggest implementing an unconventional approach—in-class unguided longhand freewriting—that requires students to write nonstop about anything that comes to mind, without censoring or editing, during the first five minutes of each class session. I base this recommendation on my own observations of the students’ body language during the freewriting period, as well as my qualitative analysis of 95 students’ written feedback regarding the effect of freewriting on them. I found that this practice helps reduce student apathy through increased self-reflexivity, decreased anxiety, and improved presence.
Keshishian, F. (2018). Using freewriting in public speaking courses to remedy student apathy: An unconventional solution to a common problem. Journal of Communication Pedagogy, 1, 64-69. https://doi.org/10.31446/JCP.2018.12