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Compare and contrast two speeches, set at different times in history. Discuss what makes each speech successful, and also consider their less successful points.

To do: Log on to TEDTalks, YouTube or AmericanRhetoric.com to explore famous speeches made by prominent figures.  

Compare and contrast two speeches, set at different times in history. Discuss what makes each speech successful, and also consider their less successful points.

SPEECHES THAT HAVE BEEN COVERED IN CLASS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE. Please also make an effort to choose unique speeches–i.e., something other than addresses from American presidents…)

Submit an analysis of 1000 words, which compares the two speeches in an integrated way (example, do not analyze one in its entirety, and then the other in the next paragraph—instead, draw parallels between the two).

To demonstrate mastery of the concepts discussed in the course be sure to reflect on the following points:

  • Opening
  • The influence of age, culture, gender, roles and values in the context of these speeches.
  • Content
  • Structure
  • Language used
  • Rhetorical devices
  • Contrast/Balance
  • Appeal to emotion vs logic
  • Connection to the audience
  • Motivation theory
  • Body Language
  • Use of a Persona
  • Organization of the speech
  • Memorable highlights
  • Conclusion

Some examples can be found here: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/top100speechesall.html

*Although some of the American presidents are popular, I’d like to see students analyze some less-famous, but still well executed, speeches. 

Feel free to read ahead in the lessons to better understand any of the concepts you are not yet familiar with.

Assessment: This assignment is worth 20% of your final grade. It will be graded out of twenty points, broken down in the following way:

15 points for content, including concepts listed above, and the originality of ideas presented

5 points for format, structure and clarity of the report (including proper citations).

*Please ensure you properly cite any information you take from other sources, using a standard citation guide. 

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