Assignment 2: Speech Analysis


Assignment 2: Speech Analysis Essay

You need to watch ONE of the speeches listed below at least twice, and write a three paragraph essay analyzing the effectiveness of the speech. This is a graded assignment and is required for course completion.

Speeches to choose from:
A. Ronald Regan, Challenger Disaster Speech
Printed speech or Video

B. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Commencement speech at Harvard University
Printed speech or Video

C. Malcolm X – The Ballot or the Bullet Speech
Printed speech or Video

D. Malala Yousafzai – Women’s Rights and Education Speech
Printed speech or Video


Paragraph 1: Content
Sentence 1 – Who was the speaker?
Sentence 2- Where was the speech given?
Sentence 3 – When was the speech given? (month and year)
Sentence 4 – Why was the speech given?
Sentence 5 – What made the speaker qualified to give this speech?

Paragraph 2: Delivery
Sentence 1 – What words were repeated or emphasized?
Sentence 2 – Rate of speaking: Was it fast, medium, or slow? Did the speaker switch from one speed to another?
Sentence 3 – Volume: Did the speaker speak softly, loudly, or did it vary?
Sentence 4 – Did the speaker use a positive or negative tone?
Sentence 5 – What non-verbal gestures did the speaker use? (eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, pauses)

Paragraph 3: Overall impression
Sentence 1 – What type(s) of persuasive appeals did the speaker use? (Logos is based on logic or reason. Ethos is based on the character, credibility, or reliability of the writer. Pathos, or emotional appeal, appeals to an audience’s needs, values, and emotional sensibilities.)
Sentences 2 & 3 – Copy two quotes from the speech to give an example of this type of argument.
Sentence 4 – Do you think the speech was successful? (tell why or why not)


Please save your speech analysis essay as a Word (.doc) document. If you don’t have Word, feel free to type your essay directly into the submission box, but be sure to still format it in MLA style. You may also use OpenOffice, Google docs, etc.


Your paper will be screened for plagiarism. To check it yourself prior to submission, please submit HERE. (Drafts are not looked at by teachers.) Once you submit your first draft and get a grade, you may view grammar and plagiarism feedback by clicking on Assessments/Assignments/View Feedback. The purple area is the grammar, and the red area is the plagiarism information. If you’d like help, please email your teacher, visit our online library (the Learning Resource Center), or feel free to book a one-on-one appointment with a writing coach in the writing lab: BOOK HERE

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