Rhetorical Analysis

Please choose one speech/from TEDTalks.com. The talk you pick must be at least 8-15 minutes in length. Then provide a close reading, which is essentially an interpretation, of how well the points come across and how effective the speaker or writer is; your paragraphs must address the three appeals – logos, ethos, and pathos – and point to specific references. Quote freely from the talk, but make sure to incorporate quotations fully; this means that you should introduce the quotes, state which part of the speech they come from, and apply your analysis directly before or after the quote.

Please do not choose the text of a favorite speaker, writer, or politician because you want to praise it. Choose a text that you can critique; you will find and examine both positive and negative elements. Your text should be recent or go as far back as 2015.

Sample Outline:

Introduction: Introduce the speaker and provide a context for the speech by writing a short summary of the topic the speech addresses. Thesis: Make a statement about the speaker’s use of ethos, pathos, and logos. “Sherry Turkle uses the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, and logos, but her strength lies mainly in her use of ethos.”

Body Paragraph One: Explain the writer’s use of one of the rhetorical strategies (ethos, pathos, logos). Do not forget to define the strategy you are addressing.

Body Paragraph Two: Explain the writer’s use of one of the rhetorical strategies (see above).

Body Paragraph Three: Explain the writer’s use of one of the rhetorical strategies (see above).

Conclusion: This will be your overall reflection on the speaker’s effectiveness. Did he/she convince you of their argument? What did you learn from this speech? What do you think the writer should do to make their speech more convincing?

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