Here are the elements which will help you with your analysis of Steve Jobs’ Commencement Address at Stanford University.
The rhetorical situation is that the speaker is Steve Jobs, an American inventor, entrepreneur, designer, and co-founder of Apple. He is delivering his speech to the 2005 graduating class of Stanford University.
The composition of Jobs’ speech can be split into three main parts that each focus on one life story from Jobs’ life and what he has learned from the experience.
The style of language is neutral and Jobs uses simple sentence structures and short sentences to get his message across efficiently.
Jobs occasionally uses different rhetorical devices such as repetition or rhetorical questions to make his speech more engaging and to highlight his message. The dominating rhetorical device is the anecdote, which Jobs uses to give life lessons to his audience.
When it comes to forms of appeal, Jobs appeals to pathos through his use of emotional and personal life stories. He also builds ethos for himself in order to appear reliable to the audience.
You can read a full analysis of the speech on the following pages.