Speech by a politician

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In this project the task is to examine political speech in detail in order to uncover strategies of persuasion, self-representation and conveying information. Choose a recent speech by a politician from your country or region, then choose another speech, either from the same politician to a different kind of audience or on a different topic. You might also choose a speech from a different politician to compare to; but picks s speech that is similar in some way to the first. You’ll need the audio from the speech. Transcribe them, including pauses, stress on particular words, hesitations and ‘mistakes’. You might also find it useful to make note of speed if this varies through out the speech. It’s a good idea to transcribe any laughter or applause from the audience too. For national politicians, you can often find transcripts of speeches on a government website, to save some transcription time.

Examine each speech carefully. What is the goal of each speech? Is it intended to inform or persuade? Is it an emotional or rational speech? You will need to provide evidence from the specific linguistic choices made to justify your conclusions about the speech. For example, if you think that it is an emotive speech, you will probably look for particular word choices. What register is used? Is it formal or informal? Compare the similarities and differences between the two speeches.


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