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GRC – Oatley
Module B Assessment Dec 2011

‘Great speeches are the product of style substance and impact’ How have the views of speech writer Graham Freudenberg and your critical study of the speeches informed your understanding of the value of these speeches?

In your response evaluate the ideas, structure and rhetorical/language techniques of at least two speeches:

• Develop a thesis, address the question and refer to the listening component throughout • Demonstrate effective listening skills through close and relevant analysis of two speeches with a thorough integration of the listening component • Understanding of the argument/structure and rhetorical techniques in two speeches • Appropriate use of language and essay structure

General Comments:

The purpose of this feedback is to help you better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your responses.

• The task was designed to test your knowledge, understanding and level of engagement with your texts and your ability to support your ideas through a detailed focus on how rhetoric is used to inform your understanding of the value of these speeches.

• Although the majority of students responded to some aspect of the statement at some point in their essay, it was disappointing that so many failed to sustain their acknowledgement of the key words of the question.

• Before you start writing, you need to think about these things in relation to specific ideas.

• You need to create a thesis in response to the question given and to develop your discussion around clear topic sentences which foreground the idea – you should not organize your paragraph around a technique… the technique will support/illustrate the idea.

• It is not good enough to ‘top and tail’ an essay that you have pre-prepared.

• You need to integrate your discussion around the thesis.

• Construct topic sentences which reflect your thesis.

• Resist the temptation to begin paragraphs with context and speaker’s background.

Stronger responses

These demonstrated:
• confident and articulate use of language
• ability to write a sustained and coherently structured and well supported discussion in response to this question. • A perceptive knowledge and understanding of the texts. • A strong focus on ideas and how these ideas are conveyed. • Acknowledge the effect of context on speaker’s purpose in a subtle integration.

A strong response has an introduction which clearly addresses the question, acknowledges key terms and establishes a thesis.

Effective introduction – student sample:

The values of speeches can be assessed through Graham Freudenberg’s ‘identification’ of views of content over rhetoric. The ability to address influential issues of politics can only be represented by the use of rhetorical devices. In Paul Keating’s speech ‘Funeral Service of an Unknown Australian Soldier’ and Aung San Suu Kyi’s ‘Keynote address at the Bejing World Conference of Women’, both speeches are able to address key political issues which impact on their intended audiences, the ideas of national identity, unity of a nation in Keating’s speech compared to Suu Kyi’s concepts of equality of women and the advantages they bring to society can be perceived as morally challenging being able to engage the audience as these issues are made relevant as they transcend time and context being relevant to today’s society.

Effective paragraphs – student sample:

Speech writer Freudenberg believes that in all great speeches, the content is more important than the rhetoric. He makes a fair point and asserts that any speech is influenced and based on content and context and that speech is defined by audience’s context and purpose. This is true for both Keating’s and Bandler’s speeches. Keating’s purpose of paying tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in war is achieved throughout his eulogy...
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