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How do you write a critical analysis of a speech?

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Quick Answer

To write a critical analysis of a speech, obtain a copy of the speech, research the issues addressed in the speech and gain biographical and other background information about the speaker. Write a summary of your conclusions to finish the critical analysis.

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Full Answer

  1. Source a copy of the speech

    In order to analyze the speech, you must have a copy of it to refer to as you write. Transcripts of broadcast speeches are available from television and radio station websites as well as on the websites of the speakers themselves. Websites like YouTube and Vevo often carry videos of major speeches from which you can make your own transcriptions.

  2. Outline the text of the speech

    In order to know the speech well, make an outline that identifies the speaker’s purpose and main idea. Then identify the main idea in each paragraph and evaluate the evidence the speaker presents in support of his main idea.

  3. Research the central issue addressed

    Before you analyze the speech, you must have a good working knowledge of the issue or issues addressed. Research the issues as well as the evidence offered so that you understand the speaker’s stance as well as where he found his evidence.

  4. Get to know the speaker

    Learning details about the speaker's biography, such as education and work history, for example, help explain his relationship to the issues he raises, his choice of evidence, rhetorical style and so on.

  5. Examine the speech critically

    Use your study and research to write an informed analysis of the speech. Regardless of your opinion about the issues the speech addresses, critical analysis requires that you answer certain questions for your readers: How well and in what ways has the speaker made his point? How balanced is his presentation of the issues under discussion? How good is the quality of his evidence and what kinds does he use? Whether you agree with him or not, has he been persuasive?

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