Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis Sample Essay

The history of scientific and educational rhetoric shows that the main methods for achieving oratorical mastery are to observe the live sound of skillful speeches, to study the experience of the great speakers of the past, and to critically analyze the samples of written texts of speeches. Studying the structure and composition of successful classic speeches and guiding general rules and schemes to draft and write speeches, we can build a sincere and deeply informative presentation.

A rhetorical analysis of speeches can be represented as decoding oral or written texts with the main stress on the result. This should be taken into account in the rhetorical analysis of speeches. It is close to the stylistic analysis of specific texts but differs in its aspects, approaches, and accents. The stylistic analysis shows that the text of the speech has, first of all, linguistic features (style, means of expression, their functions in the text, etc.) The rhetorical analysis should show how the text acts on the listener, how it was built for the sake of this action, its composition and how it is set to achieve the goal.

All that is a subject to stylistic analysis of the text, included in the rhetorical analysis (stylistic meanings and means of expression, stylistic systems, keywords, speech figures, stylistic methods of comicality, language figures, functional and individual styles). However, in rhetorical analysis, they are all evaluated in terms of how effectively they affect the listener because this is the main goal of the rhetoric. Therefore, rhetorical analysis takes into account socio-political, socio-cultural, historical-national aspects. It is important to know how the language figures used act on a person who is a member of the public group, nation, state, culture, and society (ideologisms, mythologisms, events, facts, assessments, contrasts, and antitheses).

The rhetorical analysis must show how logical, consistent and expedient the speech is, how it is delivered by the speaker on the basis of rhetorical rules and requirements, warnings and advice, dispositions, patterns and whole context. It is very important to pay attention to the process of rhetorical analysis of how the speaker formulated the topic, the purpose, the presentation of his subject, the conception of how appropriately chosen the strategy. It is important to note how the provisions are formulated, how well chosen the type of the argument and types of evidence. The analysis of the best speeches of well-known speakers in accordance with the canons of rhetoric and the use of speech materials as models, a compilation of similar speeches and their utterances presents the basis in the process of training professionals in educational specialized institutions.

For many centuries, the forms of organizing oral and written texts are worked out in order to be addressed to the larger audience. Rhetorical analysis of the text allows us to consider various aspects of its construction on a particular material, to reveal methods of speech impact, to evaluate the language tools chosen by the author, and the means of the speech expressiveness. The ability to analyze the text is an important component of the communicative competence because it creates the necessary basis for creating own texts of different genres. In this way, the rhetorical analysis includes the following aspects:

– Genus and genre of speech/text, its addressee;
– Objective of the author (whether the author achieved his goal);
– Conditions for creating and pronouncing speech (place, time, etc.);
– Relationship between the speaker and the audience;
– Types of arguments (pros and cons, strong and weak arguments);
– Types of arguments (inductive / deductive, descending / ascending, disproving / supporting, unilateral / bilateral, etc.);
– Effectiveness of arguments;
– Speech/text composition (beginning, the main part, the end; division into parts; transitions between them);
– Exchange with points of view (internal/external, own/alien, spatial, temporal, estimated, etc.):
– Correctness, accuracy, relevance, expressiveness of speech (whether actual, logical, speech errors are allowed);
– Feasibility of using tropes and rhetorical figures;
– Acceptance and means of the dialogue during the speech;
– Demagogic and manipulative techniques;
– General assessment of the speech/text (persuasiveness, originality, etc.).

The analysis of the oral presentation should be supplemented by the speaker’s behavior in the presence of the audience (relevance and expressiveness of his gestures, facial expressions, intonation, adequacy of loudness and pace of speech), his freedom from the pre-written text, attitude to the offered regulations etc. The analysis of the behavior of participants in dialogical communication (which can be both oral and written) has its own characteristics and can be supplemented by the following parameters:

– Dialogue type (explanation, argument, quarrel, etc.);
– Theme (main thesis);
– Goals pursued by participants in dialogical communication;
– Their strategies and tactics;
– Ways to protect and attack;
– Permissible and unacceptable tricks (disruption of the dispute, transition to individuals, sophistry, evasion from the topic, etc.);
– Role of witnesses in dialogical communication (are they included in the circle of addressees or not);
– Quick reaction of the participants in the dialogue;
– Types of replicas used (pick-ups, repetitions, refutations, etc.);
– Winning in the dispute (in the case of the dissonance dialogue).

It should be noted that the communicative competencies formed in the educational process with the help of the rhetorical analysis (an adequate perception and generation of persuasive text) are extremely relevant and in demand in the modern speech practice. In general, the mass-information discourse is one of the most ideologically and rhetorically loaded processes and the intentional influence of the speech on the mass addressee is a distinctive feature of the modern world.