Determine the context (who, when, where, and why)

Determine the context (who, when, where, and why).  This basic information is often presented in the introduction of your essay. Who is giving the speech? Who is the audience? When is the speech given?

Determine the context (who, when, where, and why)

Carefully examine the text (read, listen, or watch – depending on the text).

Determine the context (who, when, where, and why).  This basic information is often presented in the introduction of your essay. Who is giving the speech? Who is the audience? When is the speech given? Where is the speech given? Why is the speech given? What is the purpose of the speech? What does the speaker/author hope to achieve?

Decide if you think the text is successful. Did the author/speaker successfully achieve his or her purpose? This will be the foundation of your thesis. The success (or lack thereof) of the text is the backbone of your argument.

Examine the CHOICES the author/speaker makes. Here are some examples of choices: Does the author use ethos?  Does the author use pathos? Does the author use logos? What word choices does the author make?  What examples does the author give? Then, consider the effects of these choices on the audience. This is the information that will make up the body paragraphs. How do the author’s choices contribute to the success (or failure) of the text? Make sure to find quotes/specific evidence of these choices to use in your paper.

Essay 2 Topics

Option 1:
Texts: “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” “UN Speech on Education,” Obama’s “Prayer Breakfast,” or Trump’s “Prayer Breakfast” (you may also choose any of the other speeches included in the textbook)

Choose one of the above texts to analyze and then construct an argument concerning whether or not the text is successful in achieving its goal.

To do this, the first point you must establish is what you consider the purpose of the text? (You will likely include this in your introduction) Then, decide if the text is successful. Why or why not? What rhetorical techniques does the author use to achieve their goal?