Response essay to eisenhower’s farewell speech

Your assignment is to write a short essay  (3-4 pages) to assess and critique this speech. You will want to listen, watch and read it several times. When writing, use examples from the speech to support your ideas. You’ll need to look past the primitive black-and-white video tape with an eye and ear on such questions as:

1) What do you assess Eisenhower’s standpoint to be? (Consult our text for more on standpoint). Is his standpoint consistent with that of a career military man? If so, why? If not, why not?

2) What sort of speech is this? Is it informative, persuasive, invitational, or something else? Was it a special occasion speech? If so,what kind?

3) What were Ike’s goals? What did he hope to accomplish? And what sort of language did he use – concrete or abstract or both? Cite examples. Was his delivery appropriate – meaning his pacing pitch, vocal variety, etc.?

4) Is it well-reasoned? That is to say, does he engage in any fallacies? If so, are they intentional? Is he being honest or he is trying to twist his language to make is point? What was his ethos? Did his speech have logos? Despite his rather dry delivery, what evidence do you see of pathos, if at all?

5) What sorts of questions is he addressing: questions of value, fact, or policy (or all three)? Where?

6) Does he seem well prepared, rehearsed and practiced? How, if at all, does he use gestures to emphasize his points? Such as?

7) If Eisenhower were delivering this speech today, what ideas would you suggest if you were helping him write, prepare and rehearse it?

These are among the questions you might want to consider as you evaluate and critique this speech. You may wish to apply other course concepts as well.


You will need a standard APA References page on which you include any resources you think you might want to use. You do not need to include the speech on the References page (it would be hard to cite in this way) but you will need to cite any remarks of his using the transcript as a source.

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