Write an approximately 1-3 page paper

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Write an approximately 1-3 page paper based on your research on your text and/or topic. Consider the role rhetoric plays in it or how it is constructed to influence. Your research should include the following:

a) An explanation of the significance of your topic/artifact. If I were researching American Idol, for example, I would find research that indicated how many people watch the show each week, how many seasons it has been on, how many awards it has won, and what its impact on popular culture has been.

b) An explanation of what others (especially scholars) have said about your topic. Some have said, for example, that American Idol perpetuates consumption due to its frequent product placement, while others have said it promotes democratic participation.

For this paper, you should integrate this research to construct an argument as to why your topic is an important one to study and what the purpose of your original research is by using your research to:

a) Explain the significance of your topic,

b) Explain what others have said about it, and

c) Explain the purpose of your original research, i.e., what you hope to find out as a result of your original research.

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Running head: CLUSTER CRITICISM 1 Cluster Criticism Introduction Cluster criticism is a kind of rhetorical criticism which usually focuses on examining and scrutinizing the messages that have been conveyed through speeches or theatres and identifying CLUSTER CRITICISM 2 how performance usually contributes to the manner in which these messages are created (Schrader, 2016). Cluster criticism helps in enabling people to find the emerging elements or themes in a message and then assists the individual in constructing meaning in a message through using this clusters or themes. We will focus on using Foss’s theory and methods of cluster criticism to conduct an analysis of the speech given by President Trump on 9th September 2017 which mainly focused on commemorating the attacks that took place in America. Summary of the speech by President Trump The commemoration ceremony of the September 11, 2001, attack, took place this year in The Pentagon, Virginia, where President Trump was present. He gave a speech which was mainly focused on reminding Americans of the heroes and innocent Americans that died during those attacks. His speech mainly talked about the unity of Americans where he specified that the attackers thought that they had incited fear among Americans, while on the contrary, it made the Americans to be more united. He offered his condolences to the people who lost loved ones during those attacks but was able to show that Americans have become stronger since those attacks. He further showed that the attacks increased patriotism among Americans where they have registered a high number of young citizens who enrolled in the military. Summary of the theory by Foss Sonja Foss developed a theory on cluster criticism where he offered his views on this particular issue through presenting different methods and techniques which individuals need to use when they decide to analyze a message. The theory of cluster criticism by Foss is very much of assistance as it tries to show how the attitudes of writers about controversial matters usually assist in shaping persuasive and convincing rhetorical strategies. Foss provides three methods in CLUSTER CRITICISM 3 his theory which he thinks people need to adopt when they are performing a cluster criticism of speeches or messages which are, identify key terms, the creation of clusters and comparing and examining clusters. These were the methods that were adopted in analyzing and performing a cluster criticism of the speech by President Trump on September 11, 2017. Explanation of how the theory of Foss is adopted in President Trump’s speech The three methods presented by Foss in his theory have helped in analyzing and performing a cluster criticism on this particular speech of President Trump. The first method is identifying key terms is a speech or message. In the president’s speech on commemorating the attacks, there are several key terms that can be identified. One key term is remembering the families who lost people in those attacks (Foss, 2017). This is because the president kept on mentioning them while giving his speech. Another key term in the speech was unity where the president would regularly mention that Americans are united and have become stronger. Hence, the key terms in this speech are unity and patriotism. The second method is creating clusters from the associated elements. This is where the critics usually identify the elements in a speech or message that surround or are associated with the key terms in the speech. In the speech, the surrounding elements on unity are situations where the president says that the terrorists opened the eyes of the citizens as it made them come together with a renewed purpose. Also, when the president states that America cannot be broken by any force because Americans are united, shows that it refers to unity. On the key term of patriotism, the surrounding elements are where the president states that more than 5million youths have joined the army to help protect the country. He also states that more than 7,000 servicemen are fighting terrorists across the globe so that America may be safe. CLUSTER CRITICISM 4 The third method of cluster criticism is comparing and examining clusters. This is where a critic usually examines how the specific clusters are representing the key terms (Clair, Carlo Lam, Nussman, Phillips, Sánchez and Yakova, 2014). In this particular speech, the president states that more than 5million youths have enrolled in the military which can be said to represent patriotism because they want to ensure that no other attack can take place. However, this specific element can also be used to explain that Americans are united to protect their country and that’s why they decide to enroll in the military. Therefore, the element representing the key term of patriotism can also be compared with the other elements that represent the key term of unity. Evaluation of the analysis Using the speech of President Trump on the commemoration ceremony of the September 11 attack to show the adoption of the cluster criticism theory of Sonja Foss, can help people understand how the methods and techniques that have been presented in this theory. Through breaking down this particular speech, the reader can also identify the key terms that are present in the speech. The reader can also have the opportunity to create clusters when they consider the elements that are surrounding the key terms. Lastly, they may also have the opportunity to see how the elements are examined and can also be compared in relation to the key terms. Form using the theory, one can see that president Trump in a way is trying to show how the attack was significant as it increased the unity and patriotism of Americans. Conclusion The theory of Foss on cluster criticism clearly shows the steps that a critic needs to follow when they are trying to perform a cluster criticism on a speech. He has been able to indicate the three methods that they need to adopt so that they may successfully analyze a speech CLUSTER CRITICISM 5 or message. However, the theory only applies to public speeches and therefore, cluster criticism cannot be applied in movies or films. Reference CLUSTER CRITICISM 6 Clair, R. P., Carlo, S., Lam, C., Nussman, J., Phillips, C., Sánchez, V., ... & Yakova, L. (2014). Narrative theory and criticism: An overview toward clusters and empathy. Review of Communication, 14(1), 1-18. Foss, S. K. (2017). Rhetorical criticism: Exploration and practice. Waveland Press. Schrader, V. L. (2016). Analyzing a Performative Text through Cluster Criticism: Hegemony in the Musical Wicked as a Case Study. KB Journal, 11(2). ...
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