Civic Engagement Speech

Civic Engagement Speech

Give me liberty or give me death!
–Patrick Henry

Imagine that you are in a dusty, crowded community center. Room 4A. People, more than you imagined, sit in those ubiquitous, collapsible seats. Many more stand back against the wall. Many, many individuals hold handbills you passed out regarding your public policy concern. Equally eager and nervous you stand in front of the lectern. “Now, you think…now I am ready…” You click on the microphone, examine your prepared speech about your public policy concern, and you begin to speak with eloquence and passion!

An important component of civic engagement is citizen recruitment to your public policy concern. One way to generate increased citizen recruitment is by using an effective, persuasive speech on your policy concern

A persuasive speech is a type of speech when the speaker seeks to convince an audience based on a spoken argument. Persuasive speeches are composed of three components: an appeal to logic, an appeal to emotion, and an appeal to credibility. 

  • An appeal to logic is when you persuade an audience with reason.
    • Example: “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
      –Abraham Lincoln
  • An appeal to emotion is when you elicit an emotional response from the audience.
    • Example: “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
      –Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • An appeal to credibility is when the speaker’s status or authority on the subject persuades the audience.
    • Example: “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.
      –Lloyd Bentsen

Source: (Learning, n.d.)

The National Constitution Center compiled the ten greatest speeches in U.S. history. From Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech to Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a Dream Speech”. Newsweek, an American news magazine, has the video of Dr. King’s speech, while The New York Times has an excellent analysis of it. 


Compose a 400-word transcript of your public policy speech. 

  • Select a specific example of public policy from one of the following fields:
    • Economic policy
      • An example of economic policy is U.S. budget deficit spending.
    • Education policy
      • An example of education policy is the implementation of national education standards.
    • Environmental policy
      • An example of environmental policy is the Clean Air Act.
    • Foreign policy
      • An example of foreign policy is how we conduct trade with other countries.
    • Healthcare policy
      • An example of healthcare policy is the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
    • Welfare policy
      • An example of welfare policy is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
    • Write a brief speech advocating for citizen involvement concerning a current public policy issue.
  • Using public policy analysis – include the following:
    • State the public policy concern.
    • Discuss possible policy solutions.
      • Include either a logical, emotional, and/or credibility appeal.
    • State your chosen, public policy solution.
      • Include either a logical, emotional, and/or credibility appeal.
    • Support your examples with information from the text and at least two, additional academic sources.
    • Correct grammar and syntax.
    • APA format.


Learning, L. (n.d.). English Composition I: Cerritos College. Retrieved from

Looking at 10 Great Speeches in American History. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Unit 8

• Flair, I. (2019). Public speaking. Salem Press Encyclopedia.


• Introduction to Social Movements and Social Change. (n.d.). Retrieved from

• Learning, L. (n.d.). English Composition I: Cerritos College. Retrieved from

• Liu, E. (n.d.). How to revive your belief in democracy. Retrieved from

• Pick one of the following chapters that you will use as additional, academic material for

the unit:

o Public Policy, Chapter 7: “Economic and Budgetary Policies” o

Public Policy, Chapter 8: “Health Care Policy”

o Public Policy, Chapter 9: “Welfare and Social Security Policy”

o Public Policy, Chapter 10: “Education Policy”

o Public Policy, Chapter 11: “Environmental and Energy Policy”

o Public Policy, Chapter 12: “Foreign Policy and Homeland


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