Rhetorical Foundation of Communication


SPE 3301-002: Rhetorical Foundations of Communication

Rhetorical Analysis Paper #1 (150 points)

Assignment Description:

The goal of this paper is to conduct a rhetorical analysis of a speech using one of the rhetorical theories or concepts discussed in the readings, class lectures, and discussions held during the “Classical Rhetoric” unit of this course. Through the analytical lens structured by one of these concepts you will conduct an analysis that will show your knowledge and understanding of a rhetorical theory and show how that theory can be used to “unpack” a rhetorical artifact.

Because this course is both about learning theory and using theory to enrich an understanding of rhetoric, this assignment will be as much about unpacking and critiquing an object as about exhibiting a thorough understanding of a rhetorical theory.

General Objectives to Be Met:

This paper will be graded according to and should accomplish the following objectives:

1. Demonstrate your understanding of the assigned readings (up to Wednesday, September 17) from The History and Theory of Rhetoric: An Introduction and from Blackboard including your ability to integrate, synthesis, apply, and critically assess those readings.

2. Demonstrate your capacity to link theory and practice through a reflective that extends, amends, or reconstructs ONE rhetorical concept or theory explored in the readings related to Classical Rhetoric and creates an evaluative perspective that is relevant to evaluating ONE speech which I will chose for you (see below).

3. Demonstrate your ability to deal intelligently and thoroughly with rhetorical concepts and use such analytical tools to conduct rhetorical criticism.

4. Demonstrate command of the mechanics of writing, including using proper grammar, spelling, and academic referencing (using APA Style).

More Specifics:

Your paper should: (a) show that you have read through AND watched President Barack Obama’s January 28, 2014 “State of the Union Address” as well exhibit your knowledge of the rhetorical situation informing the speech, (b)identify what rhetorical theory or concept from Classical Rhetoric you will use to analyze this speech, explain the theory, and why you chose it for this paper, (c) through the use of this rhetorical perspective, examine and evaluate President Obama’s speech at length.

In total, the first portion of the paper will provide situational information about the speech such as a summary of what was covered and the political climate at the time of the speech (1/4 of the paper); the second portion will present the rhetorical theory you will use (1/4 of the paper); and the final portion will involve you critiquing the speech using the theory you chose (1/2 of the paper). Examples from the speech should be used to help solidify your arguments. Think, “claim, evidence, warrant” while you are writing this section.

The paper should be 6-7 pages in length, use 1” margins all around, be written in 12-pointTimes New Roman font, and be double-spaced. Any citations should use APA format and the paper itself should include a “References” page at the end of the paper (this is not included as part of the 6-7 page requirement).

A written version of the speech and link to the speech video are available on Blackboard.