Rhetorical Critisism Essay

Objective: To demonstrate the use and effects of rhetorical devices in a publicly delivered speech, and to familiarize students with basic public speaking concepts.

Directions: This essay assignment requires reflection and analysis based on observation of a publicly delivered speech utilizing concepts covered in class. On the following pages you will find a List of Historical Speeches that may be of interest for this assignment.

When analyzing a speech, context, content and delivery must be considered. Therefore, this critique must include the following topics

Speaker and Subject Identification: (a) biographical background of the speaker and credibility in subject area, (b) identification of the subject and the relationship of subject to the speaker. This task will require the selection and citation of sources to back your claims.
Audience and Occasion Analysis: (a) a description of the occasion for the speech, including why you chose to observe the speech, and (b) a description of the audience following the Guidelines for Conducting an Audience Analysis (see below).
Structure of the Speech: (a) identify the general and specific purposes, (b) identify the central idea, (c) identify the main points and supporting materials, and (d) describe the organization and development of ideas and the adequacy of the introduction and conclusion.
Delivery of the Speech: (a) identify and critique the vocal delivery techniques including use of language and transitions, and (b) identify and critique the physical delivery techniques including use of visual aids and body movement.
Effectiveness of the Speech: (a) critique the audience response to the speech, and (b) analyze the overall effectiveness of the speech.

This assignment should be written in formal essay style and should be typed, about 5-6 pages, not including the title and reference pages.
Evaluation of the paper will be based on these criteria (100 points):

Treatment of Topic/Organization (as described above) (80 pts)
Mechanics and Delivery (grammar, spelling, neatness, APA style): (20 pts)

The paper should consist of approximately eighty percent argument based on personal observation.

You may choose from the following 4 speeches only:
1. The "Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7zzQpvoYcQ

2. 1st Inaugural Address by Ronald Reagan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpPt7xGx4Xo

3. Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEC1C4p0k3E

4. Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford Commencement Address https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc

This assignment should be written in formal essay style (APA format), should be typed (Times
New Roman, double spaced, 1-in margins), use headings and should be 5-7 pages, not including
the title and reference pages.


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