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May 30, 2023
For this rhetorical analysis assignment, you will analyze a speech (see the options below) to gain a better understanding of “the rhetorical situation”- the audience, purpose, medium, and context–within which the speech was created. In addition to dissecting the speech’s rhetorical situation, you will also identify and discuss the author’s choice of rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos) or evidence. *This is the one and only assignment that is not driven by your personal topic selection, as all the following assignments build on each other starting with the Annotated Bibliography and concluding with the Research Story.
As a foundational assignment, the rhetorical analysis will help you to:
Identify and analyze the rhetorical elements of a piece of communication
Assess the effectiveness of a speaker’s choices, in relation to the rhetorical situation
Build a foundation for future argument writing based on the skills and strategies identified and analyzed in this assignment
Length: There is a 1000 word-minimum. All elements noted below are to be included in the analysis. See Assignment Organization.
* if the minimum word count is not met, your assignment will be returned with no grade and a resubmission will be required.
Organization: Check out the table below for more information about the required content and conditions of each component:
Introduction (Description)
The intro is your first chance to reach your reader, engage their interest, and include all of the forecasting for the rest of the essay, such as the purpose of the writing project, and the parameters of your investigation. Be sure to focus on what the speaker is doing, how, and why, using the conditions as your guide.
Make sure that you clearly state the speaker and the title of the speech, along with any other details that will help provide the reader with context about your analysis.


Place the speech in a broader context.
Introduce the speech by characterizing the speaker and the occasion.
Identify the audience and situation for which the speech is intended.
Describe the speaker’s purpose.
THESIS/CLAIM: Identify the rhetorical strategies that you have decided to discuss and indicate, in general terms, how they function to promote the author’s purpose in relation to the intended audience.
Body (Analysis)
The body will include paragraphs that will have their own topic sentences developed with specifics from the speech. You may want to focus each paragraph on one rhetorical strategy, or you may focus on different parts of one strategy. Useful strategies for developing paragraphs include:

Defining the rhetorical strategy(ies).
Quoting or paraphrasing examples to illustrate the writer’s use of the strategy (two or three examples generally suffice).
Explaining how the example illustrates the strategy and how the strategy contributes to the writer’s purpose.
Conclusion (Evaluation)
The conclusion serves the purpose of reiterating your thesis, briefly summarizing the main points of your analysis, and explaining the significance of your analysis. The significance of your analysis may be suggested by asking questions such as these:
How do the rhetorical strategies that you discussed explain the effects the speaker achieved with his or her audience?
Why were the strategies effective or not effective with the speaker’s core constituency and with other audiences?
What do the rhetorical strategies suggest about the speaker’s agenda?

Document Formatting: MLA formatting: Heading (name, assignment name, course name, date), original title, header (page numbers), line-spacing (double-spaced), 1”margins, and 12-point font size, Times New Roman or sans-serif font. The thesis must be underlined.
Genre/Style: Formal analysis: thesis-driven and paragraph formatted

Speech Options
Please rhetorically analyze ONE of the following speeches for this assignment. All speeches can be found within the “Opposing Viewpoints” database connected to this course. See the “Banner” to access the “Opposing Viewpoints” link.
“I Co-Founded Facebook. It’s Time to Break It Up.” Video Collection, 9 May 2019. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 1 Sept. 2021.
“Just Whom Is This Divorce ‘Good For?’.” Family in Society: Essential Primary Sources, edited by K. Lee Lerner, et al., Gale, 2006, pp. 74-78. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 1 Sept. 2021.
Smith, Margaret Chase. “A Declaration of Conscience.” Government, Politics, and Protest: Essential Primary Sources, edited by K. Lee Lerner, et al., Gale, 2006, pp. 181-184. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 1 Sept. 2021.
“To Every Englishman in India.” Human and Civil Rights: Essential Primary Sources, edited by Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner, et al., Gale, 2006, pp. 387-390. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 1 Sept. 2021.


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