• Interpretive Response - Essay 



    You will analyze a persuasive speech and write your findings in a research paper which will include information about the speaker, audience, goal of the speech, appeals used, and historical period in which the speech was given. A works cited page must be included using the proper MLA format as well as parenthetical documentation within each paragraph (see examples on handout). 


    * Note *  The following links will open on any school computer.  If you are working from home, you must obtain the password to view from your library. 


    Introduction- Paragraph

    Begin by including background information about the speaker that directly correlates with the speech (brief). Also include the name of the speech, date given, the goal the speaker wanted to achieve (the goal is part of your thesis statement) and the reason why. What action or non-action did the speaker want the audience to take?  Include parenthetical documentation.
    Gale Virtual Reference Library
    Search Terms
    • Speakers Name (Last, First) 

    Body Paragraph 

    Historically, what was happening for this speech to occur in the first place? Discuss the audience and the purpose of the speech. Include the values, attitudes, beliefs of the audience and/or the speaker and any events of the day which had a direct impact or correlation with the subject matter of the speech. Include parenthetical documentation.

    Better than Google search!
    Research In Context
    Keywords/Search Terms
    • Historical Event
    • Time Period
    • Speech Title


    * For the final three paragraphs, use the original speech and the background research you have collected. You can view most of the original speeches here:  www.americanrhetoric.com  Don't forget to cite your sources.  MLA citations are at the bottom of each database article. *

    Other Body Paragraph Ideas


    • Identify one major appeal in the speech and seamlessly incorporate this quote into your paper. Be sure to explain if the quote is an example of a logical, ethical, or emotional appeal. Link the quote to your thesis statement (the goal of the speech). Include parenthetical documentation.


    • Identify a second major appeal that is used and do the same as in paragraph #3 above. Include parenthetical documentation.



     Unify your interpretive essay by writing a conclusion that focuses on the main literary elements you have interpreted. For example, an essay the theme of Frost's "The Road Not Taken" as ironic, could conclude, similarly to critic Mark Richardson, that the two roads in the poem are "really about the same," and that "both that morning equally lay."  The irony in this interpretation lies in the fact that the speaker has said the roads are "the same" repeatedly, yet he concludes that by saying that he took the road "less traveled by" and this has "made all the difference>' Richardson compares these statements and concludes that the traveler's choice made no difference at all. 
    Essay will be prepared in MLA format.