Rhetorical Topics For Essays

In my search for some appropriate speeches to really analyse at a deep level, I found all of the usual speeches: MLK’s “I Have a Dream,” JFK’s 1961 Inauguration Address, Nixon’s Resignation Speech, you guys know what I’m talking about.  These big, “world-changing” speeches, and in a certain sense, they were. But I thought I might want to deviate from the norm slightly as soon as I stumbled across the 2005 Stanford commencement speech by Steve Jobs. I think that this is an absolutely phenomenal speech that is full of rhetorical appeals that could be broken down to really find the root of their effectiveness. Steve Jobs almost had his work cut out for him when delivering such a speech for one of the most prestigious universities in the world, having not even graduated college, and I’d like to see how he faces that sort of problem in his writing. One concern I see with this speech is that it may be on the shorter side, and stretching this to cover a four to five page analysis could end up ultimately diminishing the value of such an analysis. There’s a balancing point of analysis that below which you have not fully understood the breadth of the effectiveness, but above which you have tried to extract too much, and I’m not sure where that would be with this speech. Secondly, I’d be very interested in looking into either Barack Obama’s 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention that put him on the map, or the 2009 Inauguration Address that catapulted our country into its current era. Both of these speeches have had an immediate impact on our society as they brought hope and optimism at times when there wasn’t necessarily a lot of that. I feel that either of these two have a plethora of effective rhetorical techniques employed, and much of Obama’s own ethos has come from his skills as an orator, so to me it would be interesting to unpack the speeches that brought about that reputation.

Proven Rhetorical Essay Topics You Should Use


The success of writing a proper rhetorical essay lies in choosing a good topic. While it may be difficult to decide on the particular topic, you should follow two major requirements. Firstly, focus on your interests. If the topic you want to discuss is familiar to you, you will have a head start. Secondly, consider urgent topics that will interest your readers. There may be different widely discussed matters, so you may easily hear about them on TV.

However, there are a number of topics that will always be productive. If you want to enhance your knowledge and develop your writing skills you should definitely dwell upon them.

Rhetorical analysis of the speeches is highly productive. They are immensely rich in rhetoric strategies because the main goal of the speech is to persuade the audience in speaker’s point of view.

  1. Inaugural address of John F. Kennedy
  2. Richard Nixon’s resignation speech
  3. Dwight Eisenhower’s speech “Atoms for Peace”
  4. “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation” of Franklin D. Roosevelt
  5. “Shuttle ''Challenger'' Disaster Address” of Ronald Reagan
  6. These five speeches were delivered by the presidents of America. They address the important and controversial issues of politics and social life of the twentieth century. The problems of social injustice, war, national tragedies and use of atomic energy will for long remain controversial and worthy of discussion.

  7. Martin Luther King’s speech “I Have a Dream”
  8. This is probably the most famous speech of all times. American civil right activist M. L. King called to put an end to racism in America. It became a defining stage of the whole American civil rights movement and is the example of a powerful rhetoric since then.

  9. Steve Jobs’ commencement speech
  10. Commencement speeches are certainly rich material for investigation. And according to the national newspaper “USA Today” Steve Jobs’ speech is one of the best.

    While analysis of the speeches may be of great personal interest, study of the rhetoric employed in the works of literature could be useful for your education. Choose the piece of literature you have already read and work on them. There are five recommended works for analysis:

  11. Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”
  12. Poem “Wild Nights” by Emily Dickinson
  13. Sermon “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” by Jonathan Edwards
  14. Short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
  15. Novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  16. If you want to be more up-to-date and discuss the topic you know well, you can write about current social problems that affect the young.

  17. Smoking should be prohibited among the teenagers
  18. Tattoos and piercing are the symbols of freedom
  19. School uniforms are necessary elements of educational system

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