effective speech

In the Lesson 4 Assignment, you will be looking at and evaluating the use of supporting material. Additionally, you will be considering what supporting material you plan to use for your upcoming midterm presentation. You will analyze supporting material in the September 20, 2001 Address to Congress by President George W. Bush and select supporting material for the Rhetorical Situation speech assignment.


This lesson’s assignment has two parts. Please be sure to complete both parts in a single Word document and submit it to complete the assignment. Part I is Testing the Strength of Supporting Materials: your analysis of President George W. Bush’s speech of 20 September 2001, and it can be inserted before Part II, the Rhetorical Situation Research Memo shell.

Part I: Testing the Strength of Supporting Material

Read and view President George W. Bush’s address to the nation, delivered on September 20, 2001. Then answer the following questions in as essay of 600–900 words:

  • What was the general purpose in the speech? What was its specific purpose? Provide evidence from the speech to support your claims. (It was not the general purpose of the speech “to provide new information.” It was persuasive, not informative. Therefore, the specific purpose could not be “to provide new information about the war on terror.”)
  • Using the discussion of evidence in Chapter 7 and the discussion of persuasion in Chapter 14, list the types of supporting material the president used in his speech. Give an example of how each type of supporting material is used and then evaluate his use of this evidence. Rely on outside sources, even if you disagree with their conclusions, to help you identify his arguments and evidence. Use the additional reading by Jamieson in this Lesson as a model for testing supporting material, and cite it is as needed. Include at least one other scholarly reference to support your argument.

You are expected to use at least two scholarly (peer reviewed) sources in your research for this part of the assignment. These include academic journals and books. Newspapers, available online, can provide supplemental information, particularly with recent speeches that you will analyze, but only use newspaper articles that were written around the time of the speech; articles written much later tend to be historical appreciations. Many government and non-government agencies no longer publish official reports on paper, but their documents are available online as primary sources. Other webpages, especially social media, blogs, and news aggregators, lack the editorial review oversight that makes published information reliable, useful, and acceptable. Wikipedia can help you orient your academic search, but it is not a scholarly source.

Part II: Supporting Material for Your Rhetorical Situation Speech

You have now chosen a topic for your Rhetorical Situation speaking assignment and have analyzed the audience to whom you will deliver the speech. Now, complete the Rhetorical Situation Research Memo. You will identify your purpose, thesis, and supporting evidence.

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