Response Paper #3 Prompt

Response Paper #3 Prompt
For the past several weeks we have been discussing the ways in which people use language to
create and undermine solidarity and authority. For this assignment, you should apply these
concepts and analyze the language used by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the provided
excerpt from a 2012 debate (a link to the video and transcript are on Compass). How do Obama
and Romney use language to align themselves with some groups and distance themselves from
others? How do they use language to establish their own authority and undermine their
opponent’s authority? Do they use different rhetorical strategies or the same strategies?
Make sure you go beyond the content of what the candidates are saying and consider the
particular ways in which they phrase their utterances. Things you may want to pay attention to:
use of pronouns, the narrative structure of their responses, use of reported speech, metalinguistic
commentary, and various paralinguistic elements such as tone of voice and body language (make
sure you watch the video in addition to reading the transcript!). (You can use the line numbers
from the transcript to cite particular passages from the debate.)