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Speech and Rhetorical Studies Commons

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Mass Communication

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Publication Year

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Full-Text Articles in Speech and Rhetorical Studies

President Reagan's Rhetorical War Against Nicaraugua, 1981-1987, Donald Morton Jul 1992

President Reagan's Rhetorical War Against Nicaraugua, 1981-1987, Donald Morton

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The Reagan administration launched a two term campaign to win support for the Contra rebels fighting Nicaragua. The rhetorical war began in secrecy and ended in scandal. With Reagan's reputation as a "great communicator" and the priority he assigned to the Contra cause it seemed surprising to find virtually nothing on the topic in a search of the communication journals through mid 1992.

The central research question of this thesis is whether President Reagan used rhetorical strategies and similar depictions to other presidents in his prowar rhetoric against Nicaragua. A common theme of war rhetoric is the dehumanizing of ...


Campaign Apologia As Process: Dan Quayle's Defense Of His National Guard Service, Paula Harrison Apr 1990

Campaign Apologia As Process: Dan Quayle's Defense Of His National Guard Service, Paula Harrison

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This thesis contains an analysis of apologia from the 1988 national presidential campaign which resulted from Republican vice-presidential candidate Dan Quayle's disclosure that he served in the National Guard during the Vietnam War. Quayle's revelation created a "gaffe sequence" played out in the media over a period of approximately two weeks. The rhetorical situation dictated the use of an eclectic methodology to evaluate apologia generated in response to media questions about Quayle's avoidance of active military service.

Quayle's defense included minimalizing the issue through avoidance and denial during staged and spontaneous contact with the media, and ...


The Rhetoric Of Rescue, Mary Blakeman Apr 1990

The Rhetoric Of Rescue, Mary Blakeman

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This thesis examines the television reporters' verbal depictions of two rescue events, the rescue of Jessica McClure in 1987 and the rescue of three whales at Pt. Barrow, Alaska in 1988, in order to discover what rhetorical techniques were used to appeal to the public interest. Analog criticism, metaphorical analysis and pentadic analysis were used to discover the dominant language reporters chose. Three main conclusions were drawn from this analysis: (1) use of the dramatistic pentad showed how reporters focused public attention away from the purpose,(2) verbal and visual depictions cannot be separated when studying television news stories and ...


The Rhetoric Of Laura Clay: A Southern Argument For Woman Suffrage, Margaret Wesolowski Aug 1974

The Rhetoric Of Laura Clay: A Southern Argument For Woman Suffrage, Margaret Wesolowski

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This study focused on the persuasive efforts of Laura Clay (1848-1941) as they represented a particularly southern argument for woman suffrage as opposed to the northern, or National American Woman Suffrage Association, suffrage argument. As a Kentuckian, she believed she understood southern attitudes on the three major issues she encountered during her thirty-two years as a suffragist.

The three issues were those of woman's traditional role, the race question, and state versus federal legislation. The arguments of Miss Clay concerning these issues were premised on justice and expediency, which formed the rationale of suffragist rhetoric.

Her arguments, tailored to ...