Rhetorical Analysis of a Speech English Assignment

Rhetorical Analysis of a Speech English Assignment

Overview: Now that you have a better understanding of the power of rhetoric to

influence/convince a reader, we will look at the way rhetorical strategies are also used with

speech. The purpose of this assignment is to listen to a speech, which just like the article and

image we analyzed, presents an argument, and analyze the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of this


Prompt: For this assignment, you will watch

Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk titled “How Schools Kill Creativity”

Linda Ciliatt-Wayman’s Ted talk, titled “How to Fix a Broken School? Lead Fearlessly,

Love Hard.”

Please watch both of these TedTalks online. Copy and Paste the title into the search bar,

and you will locate the videos.

Then, you will write an essay in which you

evaluate the ONE of the speaker’s arguments


This, of course, does NOT mean that you should agree or disagree with the speaker; instead, you

will provide a deep analysis of the rhetorical strategies the speaker uses to convince his specified

audience of his point. You will need to restate his thesis/argument in your own words, identify

his targeted audience, and show how he or she did an effective or ineffective job at convincing

the audience. Identify the argument and audience in your introduction. Then, in your own thesis,

state whether the presented argument is effective or not and spend the body paragraphs focusing

on the different strategies and how they are being used.

You are analyzing the way the author presented his or her argument to determine whether

it is an effective or ineffective argument.

In order to analyze the argument, you will consider the author’s use of:

Appeals (pathos, logos, ethos)


Logical fallacies


Types/Strength of evidence


OR any other points we have discussed or you have encountered in the text


You will need to 1) Point out any instances where the speaker used one of these elements by

providing a quote from the speech, and 2) Comment on whether or not the speaker did so

well/whether the use of this strategy contributed to effectiveness of his or her argument.

You do NOT have to address each of these elements, but you must pick a minimum of FIVE (5).

Each of the five can be presented in its own separate paragraph or you may combine any as you

see fit. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that points back to the thesis.

Due Dates


Rough Draft: Week 10

Final Draft: Week 11


Luna 2

Length: 3-5 pages

You will need:

1. Introduction, including a hook, background information, the author’s thesis and his

audience and your thesis with a clear preview of points

2. Up to 5 body paragraphs, including cited examples from the speech as well as your

analysis of effectiveness after each citation

3. Conclusion with a clear restatement of the main points, thesis, and final argument.