If you need similar but plagiarism-free “rhetorical analysis assignment guidelines”, then feel free to contact us!

How to Approach the Assignment

Excellent speeches have changed the world. How or why do prepared remarks affect listeners so deeply? For this assignment, you’ll choose a speech to analyze, evaluating its rhetorical strategies to judge how successful or unsuccessful the author is in achieving his or her purpose. By breaking the text down into its parts, you can see what lines of reasoning connect facts and opinions, as well as understand what assumptions underlie the argument as a whole. Being able to ascertain whether or not a text “does its job” is important for students, workers, and citizens.

Rhetoric is the art of using language to persuade. Read pages 121125 in your OER for a thorough explanation of why and how we study rhetoric. You’ll struggle to write a rhetorical analysis without first understanding the basics of rhetoric.

For your analysis, you will choose a speech from among the ones listed here. Three of these are from the American Rhetoric website, which catalogs some of the best speeches made by politicians and other historical figures. The others are TED Talks — a speakers’ series designed to spread innovative ideas. You should try to watch/listen to them all (all of them include transcripts, so you can skim the content that way as well to see which appeals to you). When you pick one to write about, try to choose something you’re open-minded about, the better to assess the speaker’s persuasive strategies.

Mary Fisher, A Whisper of AIDS.

A young mother with HIV addresses the 1992 Republican National Convention.

Elie Wiesel: The Perils of Indifference

A Holocaust survivor addresses President and Mrs. Clinton, as well as members of Congress, at the White House, in 1999.

George W. Bush: Address to Joint Session of Congress Following 9/11 Attacks

The president addresses Congress and the nation nine days after the attacks.

Michael Botticelli: Addiction is a Disease. We Should Treat it Like One

A former director of the National Drug Control Policy challenges us to confront the stigma of substance abuse.

Susan David: The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage

A psychologist challenges a culture that prizes positivity over emotional truth and discusses the power of emotional agility.

Tony Porter: A Call to Men*

An activist shows how conforming to masculine stereotypes leads to abuse and disrespect of women.


*Content Warning:

contains mature subject matter and a brief reference to sexual assault.

The essay should be:

  • 3-4 pages in length (which is 750 to 1,000 words)
  • The 12-point font in Times New Roman or Arial
  • In MLA manuscript format (double-spaced, etc. See Resource tab for more information)

All of the papers you write for this class should be entirely your own work. The penalty for taking part or all of your ideas or words from someone else’s work is a zero for the assignment — and possibly, depending on the seriousness of the plagiarism, an “F” for the course. Your academic honesty is necessary for this course to be fair, effective, and worthwhile.

To meet the learning objectives for this topic, you will complete these activities. Print this page and use it as a checklist.

  • Review the Peer Feedback Guidelines for this unit.
  • Review the Grading Criteria Rhetorical Analysis Essay.
  • Review feedback from your peers to see what revision might be needed.
  • Revise your rough draft for submission as a final paper to Dropbox | The Literary Rhetorical Analysis Essay.
  • Write your revision reflection and submit it to Dropbox | Revision Reflection: Rhetorical Analysis.
  • Post any questions about the course or assignments in the Discussion | Help.

If you need similar but plagiarism-free “rhetorical analysis assignment guidelines”, then feel free to contact us!