How a speaker creates meaning verbally
To analyze the way a speaker creates meaning verbally, non-verbally, structurally, and performatively.
Assignment: Select a speech of about 20 minutes’ duration or more. View the speech carefully multiple times, and analyze the mechanics of your speaker’s rhetoric. How does the speaker arrange and perform his speech to emphasize his meaning? How does he arrange and perform the speech to make his message more moving, appealing, and persuasive? How does he manipulate the structure of his speech to reinforce his claims? How does he employ rhetorical tropes to create connections between ideas or to subtly emphasize central phrases and words? How do your author’s appeals work? What about them makes them work? Scrutinize the composition of the speech to identify how structure and meaning correspond: in other words, how does the design of the speech correspond with the speaker’s message?
Thesis: Your thesis will most likely consist of some explanation of the relationship between the speakers’ message and the design/structure of the speech itself. The bulk of your essay will then defend your thesis by considering particular instances and details from the speech. Remember we are now deep in the territory of academic writing. As such, state your thesis explicitly in the introductory paragraph of your paper.
Then, for the rest of your paper, defend your thesis by discussing examples and details that illustrate and prove it. **NOTE #1: Your task is not to summarize what your author says, but to analyze how he says it, or how the design of the speech emphasizes the speaker’s meaning. Please do NOT summarize the speech! ** NOTE #2: Your purpose in this paper is to analyze how the speaker designs, structures, and performs the speech. Your purpose is NOT to dispute whether he is right or wrong. Do not argue with your speaker! Instead, analyze how the speaker puts the speech together to create meaning. Essay Requirements: • 5 pages • At least 8 short quotations, smoothly and seamlessly integrated into your own sentences. • A footnote for each quotation. Essay Format: Typed, doublespaced, Times New Roman 12-point font, 1” margins all around.