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Week 6 Writing Assignment: Analytical Paper This week, you will submit a final draft of your analytical paper.Now that you have written a thesis statement and created an outline for your paper, you will use the critical reading skills practiced in this course to defend your interpretation of the speech you have chosen to analyze. Keep in mind the framework for critical reading that we have explored: Audience, Purpose, Content, Mood, Style, and Structure. You should also include commentary on rhetoric and propaganda as discussed during this course.Your paper must include the following:An introduction that provides relevant background information and ends with your thesis statementA minimum of six body paragraphs that defend your thesis statementA minimum of three references from reliable sources; one must be a scholarly, academic article, and all must be cited at least once in the paperA conclusion that reaffirms your thesis statement and addresses wider implicationsFormatting, citations, and references must all adhere to APA styleRunning head: THE AMERICAN DREAM
1
Analytical Paper Outline
President Obama on the American Dream
Sophia Musopelo
English 240
Dr. B
West Cost University
I.
Introduction
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THE AMERICAN DREAM
A. Background info: “That’s why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and
thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary
men and women – students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors
— found the courage to keep it alive”.
B. Background info: “America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a
better country than this”.
C. Thesis statement: President Barrack Obama is out rightly an orator since he poetically presents the ideal American dream in his speech that is enriched with key
issues in the American economy including education access issues, employment
issues, health issues,
II.
Body Paragraph 1
A. Topic sentence: The American dream is one topic that is evident throughout the
speech of President Obama.
a. passage: “a young man from Kenya and a young woman
from Kansas who weren’t well-off or well-known, but
shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve
whatever he put his mind to”.
b. Interpretation:
The passage shows that the American dream has been alive
since long ago, that every individual will get and achieve
what they put their minds to without discrimination and oppression.
2. passage: “It is that promise that has always set this country apart”
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THE AMERICAN DREAM
a. Interpretation: in this passage, Obama insists that embracing the
American dream has made America a unique country
3. passage: “Because for two hundred and thirty two
years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men
and women – students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors — found the courage to keep it alive”
a. interpretation: This passage indicates that every individual in the
United States has a responsibility of keeping the American dream
alive and a reality.
4. passage: “America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this”.
a. interpretation: This passage indicates that the American dream has
been dwindling over the past eight years and required new leadership to renew the American spirit and dream.
III.
Body Paragraph 2
A. Topic/transition sentence: One of the key issues that President Barrack Obama
centers on in his speech is accessibility to education.
1. passage: “The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in
your lives – on health care and education and the economy”
a. interpretation: This passage highlights education as a core issue in
the economy and society of the United States.
2. passage: “I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own
while she worked and earned her degree”;
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THE AMERICAN DREAM
a. interpretation: This passage shows the need for flexibility in the
access to education and learning institutions.
3. passage: “Invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology”.
a. interpretation: This passage emphasizes on the need to have better
schools for every child in the united states.
4. passage: “I’ll invest in early childhood education. I’ll
recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give
them more support”.
a. Interpretation: This passage shows that the president was
keen on improving education quality and standards.
IV.
Body Paragraph 3
A. Topic/transition sentence: In addition to the educational issues, the President’s
speech also centers on employment issues.
1. passage: “This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio,
on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work”.
a. interpretation: This passage shows the need to improve retirement
benefits and social security services for the attainment of the
American dream.
2. passage: “This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana
has to pack up the equipment he’s worked on for twenty years and watch it
shipped off to China”
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THE AMERICAN DREAM
a. interpretation: This passage shows the need for sustainability in
employment and work in the United States.
3. passage: “The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in
your lives -on health care and education and the economy”
a. interpretation: This passage highlights healthcare as a core issue in
the attainment of the American dream in the United States.
4. passage: “When the average American family saw its income go up
$7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush”.
a. interpretation: This passage shows that a key element of employment for the attainment of the American dream is increase in pay
and personal advancement.
5. passage: “And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting
her own business,
a. Interpretation: This passage shows that there is need to empower
others to start their own ventures to boost employment creation.
6. Passage: “I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship
jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good
jobs right here in America”.
a. Interpretation: This passage shows that the president was keen on improving job creation in America.
V.
Body Paragraph 4
A. Topic/transition sentence: Another core area of concern that the president focusses on in his speech is health issues.
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THE AMERICAN DREAM
1. passage: “Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my
plan will lower your premiums”.
a. interpretation: This passage shows that the President was keen on
helping to reform healthcare policies to increase those covered by
insurance.
2. passage: “I’ve seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more
children and moved more families from welfare to work”.
a. interpretation: This passage focusses on equality in health access
for all individuals in the country.
3. passage: “No health care? The market will fix it”.
a. interpretation: This passage reflects on the individuals that lack
healthcare access in the United States. The president shows his major focus as ensuring that there is equal healthcare access for all.
VI.
Conclusion
A. Restatement of thesis: It is clear that President Barrack Obama creatively restated
many elements that constitute the American dream and used various rhetorical devices to woo supporters to vote for him.
B. So what? Address the wider implications of your interpretation:
1. The President’s speech was centered on attainment of the American
dream.
2. The speech mainly focused on issues affecting the American citizens; issues that were not fixed to align with the expectations of the American
THE AMERICAN DREAM
dream.
3. The speech indicates that his ascension to power is an indication of a better America that promotes equality, opportunities for all, better education,
better healthcare, as compared to before the American Civil war.
References
Obama,B. (2008). Democratic National Convention Acceptance Speech.
7
The American Promise
Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech at the Democratic Convention
Mile High Stadium, Denver Colorado
August 28, 2008
To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow
citizens of this great nation;
With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the
presidency of the United States.
Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who
accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the
farthest – a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my
daughters and to yours — Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who
last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy,
who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the
United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey
with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone
from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home
every night.
To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha
and Malia – I love you so much, and I’m so proud of all of you.
Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story – of the brief union
between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who
weren’t well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son
could achieve whatever he put his mind to.
It is that promise that has always set this country apart – that through hard
work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still
come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation
can pursue their dreams as well.
That’s why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two
years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men
and women – students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and
janitors — found the courage to keep it alive.
We meet at one of those defining moments – a moment when our nation is
at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been
threatened once more.
Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for
less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your
home values plummet. More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive,
credit card bills you can’t afford to pay, and tuition that’s beyond your reach.
These challenges are not all of government’s making. But the failure to
respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed
policies of George W. Bush.
America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country
than this.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink
of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of
hard work.
This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack
up the equipment he’s worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off
to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when
he went home to tell his family the news.
We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on
our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a
major American city drowns before our eyes.
Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and
Independents across this great land – enough! This moment – this election is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive.
Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two
terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And
we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years
look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: “Eight
is enough.”
Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn
the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe
him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we’ll also hear about those
occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver
the change that we need.
But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety
percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really,
what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has
been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don’t know about you,
but I’m not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.
The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives on health care and education and the economy – Senator McCain has been
anything but independent. He said that our economy has made “great
progress” under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the
economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors – the man who
wrote his economic plan – was talking about the anxiety Americans are
feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a “mental recession,” and
that we’ve become, and I quote, “a nation of whiners.”
A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant
who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and
working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted
on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder
their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or
fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give
back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I
know.
Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the
lives of Americans. I just think he doesn’t know. Why else would he define
middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else
could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and
oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred
million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would
actually tax people’s benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to
help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security
and gamble your retirement?
It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care. It’s because John McCain doesn’t
get it.
For over two decades, he’s subscribed to that old, discredited Republican
philosophy – give more and more to those with the most and hope that
prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the
Ownership Society, but what it really means is – you’re on your own. Out of
work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty?
Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps – even if you don’t have boots.
You’re on your own.
Well it’s time for them to own their failure. It’s time for us to change
America.
You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes
progress in this country.
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the
mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each
month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We
measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill
Clinton was President – when the average American family saw its income go
up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.
We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires
we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a
good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress
who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her
job – an economy that honors the dignity of work.
The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are
living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great – a
promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.
Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and
Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor,
marched in Patton’s Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the
chance to go to college on the GI Bill.
In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working
the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her
own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food
stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with
the help of student loans and scholarships.
When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I
remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I
stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.
And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own
business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the
secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over
for promotions because she was a woman. She’s the one who taught me
about hard work. She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress
for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had
into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she’s watching
tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.
I don’t know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but
this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped
me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our
promise alive as President of the United States.
What is that promise?
It’s a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives
what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with
dignity and respect.
It’s a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and
generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities
to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the
rules of the road.
Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but
what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves – protect us from
harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and
our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and
technology.
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not
hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money
and influence, but for every American who’s willing to work.
That’s the promise of America – the idea that we are responsible for
ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief
that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.
That’s the promise we need to keep. That’s the change we need right now.
So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.
Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but
the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.
Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship
jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good
jobs right here in America.
I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups
that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
I will cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95% of all working families. Because in an
economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middleclass.
And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet,
I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our
dependence on oil from the Middle East.
Washington’s been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years,
and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he’s
said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in
renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the
amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.
Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a
stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.
As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal
technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll help our auto
companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right
here in America. I’ll make it easier for the American people to afford these
new cars. And I’ll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in
affordable, renewable sources of energy – wind power and solar power and
the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new
industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be
outsourced.
America, now is not the time for small plans.
No…
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