U4 Speech Concepts

The concepts below are often used to write speeches. 

Unit 4: Speech Concepts


Part of Speech



ethosnounappeal to authority or expertise

 Researchers have repeatedly shown that this system is unstable. We should revise the system. 

Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. [excerpt]

by Cesar Chavez

During my first fast in 1968, Dr. King reminded me that our struggle was his struggle too. He sent me a telegram which said “Our separate struggles are really one. A struggle for freedom, for dignity, and for humanity.

pathosnounappeal to emotion

For king and country!

Perils of Pesticides Address to Pacific Lutheran University, 1989 [excerpt]

by Ceasar Chavez

What is the worth of a man or a woman? What is the worth of a farm worker? How do you measure the value of a life?
Ask the parents of Johnnie Rodriguez.

Johnnie Rodriguez was not even a man; Johnnie was a five year old boy when he died after a painful two year battle against cancer.

logosnounappeal to logic or thinking

Already 70.5% of women consume fruit on a given day compared to 63.8% of men1. With your help, I'd like to bring this number up to 100%. 

First Fireside Chat [excerpt]

by Franklin D. Roosevelt

Because of undermined confidence on the part of the public, there was a general rush by a large portion of our population to turn bank deposits into currency or gold -- a rush so great that the soundest banks couldn't get enough currency to meet the demand

themenouna repeated idea; a central idea

First Bennett Radio Address [excerpt]

by Prime Minister Richard  Bedford Bennet

When my government came into power in 1930, the economic system of the world was rocking to its foundations. An economic disaster, unparalleled in the history of our civilization, had overtaken us. We were in the grip of something more than a serious illness. Its fatal termination was averted only by means never invoked before. We have been sick almost unto death, but we have survived. Given the right sort of treatment, we will completely recover.

rule of threenounthe idea that things presented in groups or patterns of there are more interesting

We should sign this resolution for our children, their children, and their children's children. 

The Union and The Strike [excerpt]

by Ceasar Chavez

We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!

Address to a Joint Session of Congress on Voting Legislation [exerpt]

by Lyndon B. Johnson

There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem. And we are met here tonight as Americans -- not as Democrats or Republicans. We are met here as Americans to solve that problem.

1. Ansai N, Wambogo EA. Fruit and vegetable consumption among adults in the United States, 2015–2018. NCHS Data Brief, no 397. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. DOI: https://edtechbooks.org/-gpPi.

Exercise 4.15

Identify the concept term that is being shown in each example. Write the term on the line next to its example. Write all the terms that apply. You may write multiple words per example. 

These examples are excerpts from Address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Effort by John F. Kennedy. 

Word Bank:

ethos,    pathos,    logos,    theme,    rule of three

1. __________ "I appreciate your president having made me an honorary visiting professor, and I will assure you that my first lecture will be very brief." 

2. __________ "We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a State noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance."

3. __________ "The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds."

4. __________ "Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation's own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension."

5. __________ "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

6. __________ "Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked."

Exercise 4.16

Follow the directions to annotate the speech below. 

1. Underline the main idea of the speech. 

2. Label the rhetorical appeals where they are used in the speech E for ethos, P for Pathos, and L for Logos

3. Circle any theme(s).

4. Draw a star next to any examples of the rule of three. 

5. Box any call(s) to action. 

Historical Context: The speech above was delivered by Sojourner Truth, a former slave and famous abolitionist, at the Women's Convention in Akron Ohio in 1851. The abolitionist movement (the effort to stop or abolish slavery in America) and the women's rights movement were both happening at that time and were often connected.

"Ain't I a Woman?"

by Sojourner Truth

     Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something

out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the Negroes of the South and the women

at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty

soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

     That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages,

and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody

ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best

place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have

ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head

me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a

man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a

woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to

slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus

heard me! And ain’t I a woman?     

     Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it?

[member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that

got to do with women’s rights or Negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold

but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me

have my little half measure full?

     Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much

rights as men, ‘cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ

come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a

woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

     If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world

upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it

back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it. The

men better let them.

     Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing

more to say.

Language Notes:

  • In this speech, Sojourner Truth uses the word "Negro". In modern English, the word "Negro" generally has an outdated or offensive connotation (emotional meaning). This connotation was added in the 1970s around the time of the civil rights movement when other terms such as Black or African-American became more popular and socially acceptable1. In 1851, "Negro" did not have quite the negative connotation it does today and was more of a neutral common word.  
  • Ain't: the informal contraction of "am not"

1. https://edtechbooks.org/-iRoU  

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