Start main Content

CAES9921 Great Speeches: Rhetoric and Delivery

Coordinator: Dr. Juan CASTILLO

Course Description:

This 6-credit course aims to enhance students’ public speaking skills through understanding the influences of great speeches on social thought and political movements and through analysing the argument structures, rhetorical devices as well as language choices of a range of classic speeches or speech texts. Students will acquire deeper insights into the processes that persuasion and argumentation entail. Students also have opportunities to apply the rhetorical skills and techniques to improve their speaking skills.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Identify genre characteristics of a great speech
  • Present, in oral and written formats, critical analyses and evaluations of linguistics/rhetorical devices used in a speech
  • Critique speeches in relation to their purpose, audience and message
  • Recognise the ideologies, assumptions and values underlying the speech texts
  • Apply the linguistic and rhetorical strategies to their own speeches


  • Students work in groups on a research project on an agreed topic related to social inequality/injustice.
  • Students form a reading-and -discussion group to share opinions of speech texts analysis.
  • Students take part in small group tutorials to present and discuss topics which have been covered in and out of class.

Assessment Methods:

(with breakdown of percentage weighting of the various methods)

  • Oral Presentations (50%)
  • Essays (30%)
  • Group learning work (20%)