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Sample Speech Patterned after the structure of Patrick Henry’s “Speech to the Virginia Convention”

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Presentation on theme: "Sample Speech Patterned after the structure of Patrick Henry’s “Speech to the Virginia Convention”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sample Speech Patterned after the structure of Patrick Henry’s “Speech to the Virginia Convention”

2 Paragraph 1 Introduction, Concession, Clear Choice There are many arguments, both logical and emotional, for allowing young people, under the age of 21, to drive motor vehicles. There is a long tradition of teenage independence gained through the use of the family car. But life has changed dramatically over the past century in which automobiles have come to dominate our lives, and an equally dramatic issue has arisen. The issue of legal driving age has simply become a choice between protecting our children, and leading them to slaughter on the public highways The legal age to drive a motor vehicle in the United States should be raised to 21.

3 Paragraph 2 Emphasis by rhetorical device (allusion, pathos, rapport) It may be tempting to simply say that there is risk in every aspect of life and that the risk inherent in teenage driving is acceptable given the available safeguards and laws. But burying our heads in the sand will not silence the screams of the dying children, nor mitigate the cries of the mothers who have lost their children in useless mayhem on the highway. If we ignore these cries we are choosing to sacrifice our future generations.

4 Paragraph 3 Logic appeal, (logos) The past predicts the future Deaths in automobile accidents have grown steadily with the increase in the driving population, but even more alarmingly among those under the age of 21. The number of drivers, age 16-21, who died in car crashes increased every year until 1995, when deaths reached over 10,000 and graduated licensing began. Teen deaths still average 6,000 per year, four times the number of those aged Is it acceptable to allow 60,000 children to die in the next 10 years?

5 Paragraph 4 Ask Rhetorical Questions, followed by “If-Then” statement Can we expect children who are coming of age to police themselves and stop asking for driver’s licenses? That would be wishful thinking. Can we expect them to drive slower or more responsibly because it’s a good idea? Will a larger number of distractions like GPS screens, DVD players, iPods, smart phones, and Portable PlayStations cause them to drive better? The evidence to the contrary is in front of us drifting from lane to lane. Will a glut of video games and movies glamorizing ultra fast racing make them drive more cautiously? Of course not. If we want to protect our children, we must remove the greatest threat to their safety.

6 Paragraph 5 The other side’s best argument refuted Teenagers say they deserve to drive at age 16 because they are skilled enough and mature enough to handle a car. They must drive to jobs to pay for expensive technology, clothing and accessories, and to contribute to the family income. Parents say they need another driver in the house in a society completely dependent on cars. But how will we protect our children if we turn them into hired help? We cannot change a society that condones the slaughter of 6000 children each year unless we commit ourselves to a real change in our philosophy.

7 Paragraph 6 Final Emotional appeal Imagine Dodger Stadium filled with 60,000 smiling, boisterous and energetic teenagers. Now imagine all of them lying dead in a bloody heap, gasping in the last throes of death amid the twisted and burning wreckage of mangled automobile bodies. A horrible fantasy? A scene from another sick “slasher” movie? No, simply the inevitable result of inaction over the next ten years. Stand up now and put an end to the destruction of our youth! Make the driving age 21, and bring our children home safely!


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