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Step 1: Select a public speech for rhetorical analysis. It can be a speech by any person, such as a politician, activist, expert, etc.
a) The speech can be in English
b) another language you know (just make sure to run the speech through Google Translate to make sure it makes sense when translated automatically). Also, please remember that you will need to quote words, phrases, and sentences from your speech. This means you will need to translate those quotations into English. Since your speech will most likely be found on the internet (thus the speech document will have no pages), you will need to cite the speech only once, at the end of the paper under References. No in-text citations are required unless you cite additional sources. If you cite additional sources, use standard APA in-text citations (if pages are not available, the in-text citation of your speech will include the name of the speaker only).
Step 2: Conduct a rhetorical analysis of the speech according to the points below, as well as the information we discussed in class. Add your own creative introduction and conclusion (I usually work on those after I have the body of my paper figured out):
1.a.) Discuss the rhetorical situation. The rhetorical situation is the exigence (exigency), or the issue that a speech tries to solve: “Rhetorical discourse [or language] comes into existence as a response to a situation, in the same sense that an answer comes into existence in response to a question, or a solution in response to a problem” (Bitzer, 5Download Bitzer, 5). In other words, the rhetorical situation is the historical, cultural, and socio-political context of a speech (background information that surrounds a speech). The awareness and ability to use the rhetorical situation to the speaker’s advantage is called kairos. More on kairos hereDownload here.
Next, identify the type and genre of your speech:
1.b.) Types:
Informative (but remember: there is no purely informative speech since all language is, in Richard Weaver’s wordsLinks to an external site., sermonic, it is always preaching. Even the choice of your topic speaks volumes about your priorities).
1.c.) Genres:
Deliberative (political, about the future)
Forensic (legal, about the past)
Epideictic (ceremonial, about the present)
2). Discuss the rhetor (speaker/orator or writer):
2.a.) Provide brief background information about the speaker (1-2 sentences).
2.b.) Discuss the rhetor (the first persona) as a citizen-speaker (good speaker) or a demagogue (manipulator, bad speaker). Use direct quotations (words and phrases mostly) to support your argument. Please remember the citizen-speaker and a demagogue differ mostly in terms of the content of their speeches. In terms of language and delivery style, the difference is not as striking: both a citizen-speaker and a demagogue may be highly effective (=persuasive).

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