Barack Obama’s Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention: 1) In

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Barack Obama’s Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention:
1) Introduction – in the introduction, you want to introduce the reader to your topic,
capture their attention, and state your thesis statement. HINT: It is hard to begin papers.
It is often a good idea to begin with a quote from your artifact, then start the introduction
by unpacking the quote or saying “So and so said this in X year when _ a little bit about
context_.” Underline your thesis statement! The thesis statement should say something
like “An analysis of X speech shows/illuminates ____.”
2) Analysis – In this section you want to write an analysis of the rhetorical devices used by
the rhetor. How does it achieve the purpose that you described? Each device should have
its own paragraph.
a. Persona: the role or roles a rhetor takes on for strategic purposes. This creates or
contributes to the speaker’s ethos or credibility. For example: the president may
enact the role of commander-in-chief, moral/spiritual leader of the nation,
prophet, teacher/authority on U.S. history, etc. depending on the circumstance.
Ask yourself: how does this discourse create an identity for the speaker? What
does this discourse tell me about the character of the speaker?
b. Tone: the linguistic elements that suggest the rhetor’s attitude toward the
audience and subject matter. Tone is found in the stylistic qualities of the
discourse. Some words used to describe tone are personal, direct, ironic, satirical,
sympathetic, angry, bitter, intense, scholarly, dogmatic, distant, condescending,
tough, sweet, realistic, euphemistic, incisive, elegant, etc. Your descriiption of the
tone should accurately reflect the language used in the discourse you are studying.
Also consider whether the discourse is abstract or concrete, colloquial or
technical. Are the sentences long or short? Complex or simple?
c. Structure: the form of the discourse, the method by which it unfolds, and the
nature of its movement. Consider whether it seems to be narrative-dramatic,
historical-chronological, cause-effect, problem-solution, effect-cause, topical,
spatial, or taxonomical. Any combination of these structural elements can be
found in a speech. Try outlining the speech in order to better understand its
structure.
d. Other Devices: Do not leave anything out, Hyperbole, personification, metaphor,
simile, rhyming, alliteration, anaphora, epistrophe, imagery, allusion, etc.
3) Conclusion – conclusion should summarize the paper and give a sense of finality

 

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