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Objective: To demonstrate the use and effects of rhetorical devices in a publicl


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Objective: To demonstrate the use and effects of rhetorical devices in a publicly delivered speech and to familiarize students with the advantages of communication research. Directions: This essay assignment requires critical thinking, reflection and analysis based on observation of a publicly delivered speech of at least 30 minutes in length utilizing concepts covered in CMST 220. You may attend a speech or report on a historical speech viewed via television or videotape. I will provide you with a List of Historical Speeches that may be of interest for you with this assignment. Regardless, I will discuss your choice with you before writing the essay. When analyzing a speech, you must consider delivery style, content, context and the audience. Therefore, the Rhetorical Criticism Essay must include the following topics: 1. Speaker and Subject Identification: a) biographical background of the speaker and his/her credibility in the subject area; b) identification of the subject and the relationship of subject to speaker. 2. Audience and Occasion Analysis: a) description of occasion for the speech, including why you chose to observe the speech, and b) a description of the audience. 3. Structure of the Speech: a) identify the general and specific purpose, b) identify the central idea and thesis statement; c) identify the main points and supporting materials utilized; d) describe the organization and development of main ideas used throughout the entire speech. 4. 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. 5. Effectiveness of the Speech: a) critique the audience response of the speech; b) analyze the overall effectiveness of the speech. This assignment should be written in formal essay style and must be typed, double spaced and between 1200-1500 words. I expect your paper to look professional and no late assignments will be accepted. Evaluation of the paper will be based on the following criteria: 1. Treatment of Topic (as described above) 50%2. Mechanics of Delivery (grammar, spelling, neatness) 20%3. Organization (introduction, body – including length, conclusion) 30%The paper should consist of approximately eighty percent argument based on personal observation/critical thinking and twenty percent definitions/concepts from class to support or refute your argument. General suggestions for conducting a rhetorical criticism: 1. Be Precise – accurately assess statements by taking notes about what was said in the speech. Don’t rely entirely on the opinions of previous critics or scholars. Use your own ability to observe and think critically about the rhetorical devices used. 2. Be Objective – Consider the context of the speech including your expectations and the expectations of the audience. Or, consider the history of the time in which the speech was delivered for historical speeches. 3. Be Sincere – Have a genuine desire to improve your knowledge about the purpose and effect of the speech, as well as your own choices of communication strategies for speaking publicly. The goal of this essay is to increase your critical thinking abilities and awareness of your own and others communication behaviors in the context of public address. Sample List of Historical Speeches
Roosevelt, F.D. (1933, March 4). First Inaugural Address. Washington, DC
Roosevelt, F.D. (1941, December 8). Declaration of War. Washington, DC
Einstein, A. (1950, February 19). Peace in the Atomic Era
Roosevelt, E. (1950, April 1). Address to the Americans for Democratic Action
MacArthur, D. (1951, April 19). Farewell Address. Washington, DC.
Nixon, R.M. (1952, September 23). The “Checkers” Speech. Los Angeles, CA.
Kennedy, J.F. (1960, September 12). Address to the Houston Ministerial Association, Houston, TX.
Kennedy, J.F. (1961, January 20). Inaugural Address. Washington, DC
King, M.L., Jr. (1963, August 28). “I Have a Dream.” Washington, DC
X, Malcolm. (1964, April 3). “The Ballot or the Bullet.” Cleveland, OH
Johnson, Lyndon (1965, March 15). The 1965 Voting Rights Act. Washington, DC
King, M.L., Jr. (1968, April 3). “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” Memphis, TN.
Chisholm, S. (1969, May 21). For the Equal Rights Amendment. Washington, DC
Chino, W. (1969, October 6). Indian Affairs. Albuquerque, NM.
Jordan, B. (1974, July 25). Statement on Impeachment. Washington, DC
Nixon, R.M. (1974, August 8). Resignation Speech. Washington DC
Reagan, R. (1980, July 17) Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, Republican National Convention. Detroit, MI
Cuomo, M. (1984, July 17). Keynote Address, Democratic National Convention. San Francisco, CA
Jackson, J. (1984, July 17). The Rainbow Coalition, Democratic National Convention. San Francisco, CA
Reagan, R. (1986, January 28). Tribute to the Challenger Astronauts. Washington, DC.


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