Obama’s Rhetorical Strategies
10 Page Analytical Essay (50%) (due at the end of the semester)
Throughout the semester, you will work on a paper that will be a minimum of 10 pages,
not counting the Works Cited page. You will choose a public figure and thoroughly
analyze his or her rhetoric in context. Your paper should contain the following:
1. A thesis statement that identifies your figure's main argument and supporting claims
that will be the focus of your paper;
2. Relevant historical or political context that readers need to know in order to understand
3. A thorough analysis of your figure's rhetorical strategies (that is, how s/he is attempting
to persuade their audience, and for what purpose). Use quotes and examples from your
figure's speeches, writings, or interviews to support your analysis;
4. A thorough evaluation of the persuasive value of his or her rhetoric–is it persuasive? Is
it truthful? Deceitful? Explain why you find it persuasive or unpersuasive and truthful or
deceitful (or a combination).
5. A substantive discussion of the significance of this figure and why understanding this
person's rhetoric is important.
Your paper should have the following additional features:
1. It must contain at least one primary source of rhetoric from your chosen figure, but it
can also combine multiple (for example, you may analyze one speech or a pastiche of
2. It must contain at least 2 additional resources, not from your figure, to support your
3. It must adhere to MLA citation format.
4. It must use language and style conventions appropriate for an academic audience.
5. It must be thoroughly edited.