Critical Analysis Proposal

Critical Analysis Proposal

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For your final paper, you are asked to write an in-depth rhetorical analysis of a speech using one of the methods of rhetorical criticism that we have covered this semester. To help you get started on this project, you are asked to write a 3-4 page Critical Analysis Proposal in which you will provide a brief summary of the text you have chosen to analyze, briefly explain the significance of the text, discuss the method of rhetorical criticism that you have chosen to use, articulate a preliminary thesis statement that you will develop in the final paper, and include a preliminary bibliography of sources that you have consulted in your research. The proposal is designed to help you lay the groundwork for completing the Critical Analysis Paper as you will receive feedback from your teaching assistant on this proposal, which will help guide your work on this project.


Your Critical Analysis Proposal must:

  1.     Identify the speech you have chosen to analyze
  2.     Explain why this speech is significant enough to warrant analysis. This will require you to discuss the historical context surrounding the speech. Who presented the speech? What was the occasion? Which audience(s) was the speaker trying to reach? Why is this speech important?  Make a series of arguments. That means that you must provide evidence for every claim you make.
  3.     Identify and briefly explain the type of rhetorical criticism you are using to analyze the text. (For example, you could do a Bitzerian analysis, a close textual analysis, etc.)  Make a series of arguments. That means that you must provide evidence for every claim you make.
  4.     Include your preliminary thesis statement
  5.     Include a preliminary bibliography inChicago stylethat lists your primary text (the speech you have chosen to analyze) as well as three secondary sources, one of which must be a scholarly source.
  6.   Be written in a clear, grammatically correct, and engaging manner.

Critical Analysis Paper

For the Critical Analysis Paper, you will use the feedback you received on your paper proposal to develop a rhetorical analysis of your chosen speech. This paper is worth 30% of your final grade.

Your Critical Analysis Paper should include:

  1.     An interesting introduction that captures the reader’s interest and clearly lays out your thesis statement
  2.     A solid discussion of the relevant historical context related to the speech
  3.     An explanation of the type of rhetorical criticism you use to analyze the text
  4.     An insightful rhetorical analysis using your chosen method of rhetorical criticism that cites details/examples/quotes/description of the text to demonstrate and advance the thesis statement
  5.     A conclusion that satisfactorily answers the “so what question.” What have we learned from your analysis? How have we benefited? Why is this important?
  6.     A bibliography in Chicago style format that includes the rhetorical text you analyze as well as nine secondary sources, three of which must be scholarly.
  7.  Make sure you are making arguments throughout your essay. That means that you must provide evidence for every claim that you make.

*The final paper must be 8-9 pages; the bibliography does not count towards the page total. Please note that direct quotes used in the paper need to be set off with quotation marks and include proper citations.




The Critical Analysis Paper will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:

  1. Did you illustrate a clear and accurate understanding of the historical context surrounding your chosen rhetorical text?
  2. Did you understand and correctly apply the appropriate type of rhetorical criticism to the text?
  3. Does your analysis of the text persuasively demonstrate your thesis statement? In other words, does your analysis make a series of persuasive arguments (claims backed up by evidence)?
  4. Did you reveal something not already obvious about the speech through your analysis?
  5. Does your paper abide by the style guidelines and source requirements outlined in the assignment sheet?
  6. Is your paper written in a clear, grammatically correct, and engaging manner? Does it have a proper introduction, body, and conclusion?
  7. Have you incorporated the feedback that your TA provided into your final paper?

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