Kennedy’s Rhetorical Speech

timer Asked: Jan 28th, 2019
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Question Description

In an essay, you will analyze the rhetorical situation for Robert F. Kennedy, “Remarks on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.” in terms of audience and occasion constraints and resources.


View Robert F. Kennedy's “Remarks on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” delivered on April 4, 1968. While you are reading, listening to, and viewing the speech, pay particular attention to how the speaker addresses his audience and think about what thought went into the preparation and delivery of the speech. Consider, also, Kennedy's adaptation to the occasion. In an essay of 400–600 words, discuss the following things:

  • demographics, culture, and psychology: Consult at least one outside source (in addition to your textbook) to determine who his audience was on that day and then use your critical thinking skills to determine what the demographics, cultures, and psychologies would likely be.
    • Referring to the speech text and your textbook, explain how demographics would influence Kennedy's rhetorical choices.
    • Referring to the speech text and your textbook, explain how culture would influence Kennedy's rhetorical choices. In particular, explain how he adapted to cultural diversity.
    • Referring to the speech text and your textbook, explain how audience psychology would influence Kennedy's rhetorical choices. In particular, explain his efforts at identification (with specific reference to the text of the speech).
    • Referring to the concepts of "illusion of life,""“virtual time," and “incongruent messages” in the Chuang & Hart additional reading, how does Kennedy manage time as a constraint and a resource in his speech?
    • How would you assess Kennedy's ethos in this speech?


Use at least two scholarly sources (including the Chuang and Hart article) to support your argument.

In addition, you can use news magazines, such as Time or Newsweek, and newspaper articles for background and historical information. Sources that originate on the Internet are not acceptable. (This means that, if you have a source that was originally published in print but is available online, it is okay to use that source). Remember to take advantage of the Penn State University Libraries search engines. In particular, you may find the New York Times Historical and the ProQuest search engines helpful for this and many of your other assignments.

All papers should be Word-processed and cited in the style you are most familiar with (such as APA, MLA, or Chicago). Your paper should be approximately 400–600 words, or up to two double-spaced pages, in Times New Roman with 12-point font and indented paragraphs. Include a word count in your submission.

All papers must be free from typographical and spelling mistakes. Errors of grammar, syntax, and composition affect the assignment grade.

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School: Purdue University


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