Congratulations to our Lions Club Student Speaker Participants!

Congratulations to our Civitas students Veronica and Darlene! They recently participated in the 2014 Lions Club Student Speakers Contest. This year’s speech topic was “Community Service: What does it mean and why does it matter?”

Veronica and Darlene presented their speeches in the first round in Burbank, and both won college scholarships! Veronica was invited back to speak at the second round, in a restaurant in Chinatown, against students from three other Los Angeles high schools. We’re so proud of you both!

Speech Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Triangle

Essay Prompt: What makes a speech effective and persuasive?  Choose one speech from the book, Great Speeches of the 20th Century, and complete a rhetorical analysis essay.  Consider the rhetorical appeals, devices, the audience, purpose and speaker.  Include specific textual evidence to back up your claims.

Essay Final Draft Must Include:

  • Clear Thesis/Claim
  • Specific textual evidence, cited in MLA Format, explained and analyzed
  • Elements of “SOAPStone” (Subject, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Speaker, Tone)
  • Discussion of author’s Text Structure
  • Evaluate the author’s Rhetorical Appeals (Logos, Ethos, Pathos)
  • Analyze rhetorical devices (use academic vocabulary from AP Language packet)
  • A well-organized 2-3 page essay (Introduction, Body, Conclusion)
  • Editing/Revision for spelling, grammar and conventions
  • MLA Formatting (12 point, Times New Roman, Double Spaced, correct parenthetical citations)

Writing Process:

  • Rhetorical Devices Graphic Organizer (20 points)
  • Rough Draft (40 points)
  • Editing/Revision (20 points)
  • Typed Final Draft, MLA Formatted (100 points)

Final Draft due Wednesday, November 13!


Analyzing Rhetorical Texts


Use the following questions when analyzing rhetorical texts:

  • Which kind of text structure is used? Explain.
  • Identify the main argument (thesis).
  • Analyze the rhetorical appeals (pathos, ethos, logos).
  • Identify any figurative language used (similes, metaphors, allusions, hyperbole, etc.).
  • Assess the evidence presented to back up the argument.
  • Complete SOAPStone:
    • Subject: What is the topic of the text?

      Occasion: Why is the speech being delivered or passage written? Is it a special event?

      Audience: With whom is the writer or speaker communicating? How do you know? Which words tell you?

      Purpose: What is the audience supposed to do? What lesson should they learn? How is the audience supposed to feel at the end?

      Speaker (or author): Is the speaker a reliable person to discuss this topic? What qualifications does he or she possess?

      Tone: What is the tone or attitude of the speaker or author towards the subject?