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Take a few moments to research the contextual elements surrounding President Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961 and then critically examine this speech:

“Inaugural Address,” by John F. KennedyLinks to an external site. is made available by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. It is in the public domain.

In a short rhetorical analysis (minimum of four paragraphs in length), please answer all of the questions below. Your work should include an introduction, a body of supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Please take some time to edit your writing for punctuation, usage, and clarity prior to submission.

Questions for Analysis

1. Which important historical and social realities had an impact on this speech in 1961, and how do these contextual elements figure in President Kennedy’s organization of this speech?

2. What is President Kennedy saying about the nature of human progress (science and technology) and the challenges that we must navigate as a global community? Are these challenges unique to 1961, or relative throughout human history?

3. What are the goals of this speech? Isolate at least three aims of President Kennedy’s address, identify his strategy for supporting these goals, and critique their efficacy. Is this an effective speech? Where applicable, please include a quotation or two from the speech.

In a rhetorical analysis (minimum of eight paragraphs in length), please answer all of the questions below. Your work should include an introduction, a body of supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Please take some time to edit your writing for punctuation, usage, and clarity prior to submission.

Questions for Analysis

1. How does Jefferson organize this important document? How many subdivisions does it have, how do they operate, and how does his approach to organization impact the document’s efficacy?

2. Using at least one citation from the text, analyze Jefferson’s approach to style, voice, and tone. How does he create a sense of urgency in moving toward the conclusion of the work?

3. The complexities of this document’s reach are immense. How many different audiences was Jefferson writing to, and what were the needs of those different groups?

4. In terms of the approaches to formal rhetoric that we studied in the first learning module, which does The Declaration of Independence most closely resemble? Explain your reasoning.

5. Why does this document maintain relevance in modern rhetorical studies? What are its rhetorical features that render it a “founding document” for the United State of America?