Rhetorical Analysis Paper (Nelson Mandela “I am prepared to die speech)

Rhetorical analysis is the study of how rhetors (speaker and writers) use language to advance a purpose with an audience. A rhetorical analysis explores a rhetor’s goals, the techniques they use to achieve their goals, examples of those techniques, and the effectiveness of those techniques. When writing a rhetorical analysis, you are NOT necessarily saying whether or not you agree with the argument. Instead, you’re discussing how the rhetor makes the argument and whether or not the approach they used is successful.

The goal of your paper is to connect communication strategies–that is, *any* element of the spoken or nonverbal communication used in the speech–to effects–that is, purposes served by communication strategies. Speech purposes may be overarching (e.g., the goal of informing an audience about something) or incremental (e.g., the goal of grabbing the audience’s attention in the intro). For every strategy you discuss in your paper, you should talk about its effects. Every time you talk about a speaker’s goals, you should describe specific communication strategies they use to achieve these goals.

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Remember that your reader will not be as familiar with the speech you’re analyzing as you are. You must be specific in your writing. Quote lines from the speech to support your claims about strategies being used. Describe effects on audience members in some detail to support your claims about the purposes being served by particular strategies.

You will need to cite the speech you analyze both in the paper and in a full citation at the end. You are not required to use any other outside sources, but if you do, you will need to cite them as well.

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