The Rhetorical Canons of Speechwriting

Jens E. Kjeldsen, Amos Kiewe, Marie Lund, Jette Barnholdt Hansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


In this chapter, we present three tasks from the rhetorical canon that all speechwriting must engage in order to compose a coherent and persuasive speech. The first, finding content and arguments, involves a structured method of researching, the topical system. The second task, organizing the speech, involves reflection on the function of the parts. Our focus is on the speech consisting of four parts: introduction, narrative, argument, and epilogue. Presenting the third task, creating persuasive language and style, we argue that style is vital to the construction and meaning. We outline the basic principles of rhetorical style and advice speechwriters to use rhetorical figures to structure the argument, enhance communion with the audience, and make the speech memorable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRhetoric, Politics and Society
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameRhetoric, Politics and Society
VolumePart F796
ISSN (Print)2947-5147
ISSN (Electronic)2947-5155

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies
  • Political Science and International Relations


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