american rhetoric assignment

Activity Directions

Earlier this week you read about persuasive speaking strategies, persuasive reasoning, and fallacies. You will explore these elements and applications in this week’s American Rhetoric Assignment.

To complete this assignment, do the following:

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Step 01. Go to American Rhetoric Top 100 Speeches. These speeches were determined to be the top one hundred by communication scholars, based on “social and political impact and rhetorical artistry”.

Step 02. Choose one of the speeches with video (so you can see and hear the speech). Watch the speech, looking for elements of public presentation and persuasion from this week’s module.

Step 03. Write a two-page paper identifying and analyzing specific elements of the speech. Make sure you tie in support from this week’s content (textbook, readings, and videos). Include the following sections:

  1. Briefly summarize the speech (who, what, when, where, why).
  2. Discuss the organization of the speech (what organizational pattern did the speaker use — Topical? Chronological? Problem/Solution? Narrative? — how does this choice affect the speech?).
  3. Discuss the speaker’s delivery. What did he or she do well, and what could he or she improve?
  4. Identify some of the persuasive appeals used by the speaker, including ethos, pathos, and logos.
    1. What ethos or credibility did the speaker have before speaking? What did the speaker do during the speech to build ethos? (Communication in the Real World 11.4)
    2. Describe some of the logical appeals the speaker used in the speech. What types of inductive, deductive or causal reasoning did you find? (Communication in the Real World 11.3)
    3. How did the speaker use emotion, or pathos, to persuade? What motive appeals (i.e. cognitive dissonance, positive/negative motivation, appeals to needs, or fear appeals) does the speaker use to persuade or motivate his or her audience? (Communication in the Real World11.4)

Step 04. Save your assignment using the following naming convention: FirstNameLastName_AmericanRhetoric.

Step 05. Submit your completed document using the assignment link below.

To see the grading rubric for this assignment, please go to My Grades located in the main course menu. Once you are in your My Grades page, scroll down to find the specific assignment and click on Rubric.

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