Topic: Rhetorical Analysis… “The last lecture”


Rhetorical Analysis–“The Last Lecture”
Some of you may have heard of Randy Pausch. He was a beloved professor at Carnegie Mellon University that passed away in 2008. Roughly one year before his death he delivered his Last Lecture. This is a speaking opportunity that a professor is honored with, usually upon his retirement.

For Dr. Pausch he was retiring because he was gravely ill. This speech he delivered is about one hour and fifteen minutes long and has been viewed over 19 million times. It has been studied by rhetoricians (social scientists who study famous speeches), published in academic journals, and even turned into a book.

This speech is regarded as one of the best and most moving speeches ever given and Dr. Pausch has been noted as an incredibly gifted public speaker.

The assignment:

Watch The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams … then using the material you learned this semester write a minimum of a two page paper explaining why Dr. Pausch’s lecture is so famous. Discuss bits from the speech you found especially moving and explain what makes the entire speech appealing to over 19 million people. Why is it still being studied? What is it about Dr. Pausch’s delivery style that is so appealing.

This paper is your opportunity to stretch your intellectual legs, so to speak. I want to see what you learned in this course and how you can apply it to a wildly famous speech. I want to see you answer more than just the questions I asked above.

-If I suspect that you only watched the first few minutes of the speech I will not accept the paper. I expect to see a comprehensive understanding of his speech.

Type of service-Academic paper writing
Type of assignment-Essay
Subject-Communication Strategies
Pages / words-2 / 550
Academic level-Freshman (College 1st year)
Paper format-MLA
Line spacing-Double
Language style-US English

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