Rhetorical Analysis

The 3 A's: Assertion, Audience, Attitude

Identifying the 3 A's - The WHAT of Rhetoric!

1. What is the topic the speaker is most concerned? (assertion)

2. Who is this speaker directly addressing or perhaps indirectly addressing? (audience)

3. How does the speaker feel toward her topic or even toward her audience? (attitude)

4. What is this speaker's main claim about topic or her audience? (all 3 A's)

5. What change does this speaker seek of his audience? (assertion and audience)

6. What or who is this speaker mocking, encouraging, or questioning? (attitude)

Watch Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk below and answer two or three of the questions above.

Now view Cameron Russell's Ted Talk from same link, and answer two to three of the questions concerning assertion.

Writing the Analysis Thesis Statement - the 3 A's in a Complete Sentence

1. Creatively weave in all of the following into a complete, clear thought:

  • assertion (main point/s)
  • attitude (main feeling/s)
  • author (speaker) by last name and perhaps his or her role time wise or topic wise
  • audience (expected readers or listeners, specifically or general - consider time period)


2. Use a strong action verb or two that reflect/s attitude. Later you may use an action verb to reflect a major rhetorical device in the speech or text. Notice the attitudes and the verbs available below:


encouragement: motivates, inspires, uplifts

praise worthy: praises, applauds, admires, commends, hails, glorfies, honors

rallying: muster, marshall, recruit, enlist

humorous: banters, ribs, jokes, plays, makes light of

hateful: loathes, abhors, despises, detests

mocking: ridicules, scorns, lampoons, derides, parodies, taunts

3.