College Essay Examples


Sample by My Essay Writer

 What is a speech?


A speech is essentially a spoken essay. It aims to make a connection with the audience so that the speaker can communicate their ideas. A few basic types of speech includes the informative speech, which aims to provide the audience with useful and interesting information; the demonstrative speech, which is similar to the informative speech, and it teaches its audience, but uses a demonstration as a major function; the persuasive speech, which aims to convince people to change in some kind of way; and an entertaining speech, which aims to bring enjoyment to the audience. In Wallace’s commencement speech, he is effective in his persuasive speech, as it has appears to have the ability to change the reader’s perspective, and I believe it would have the same effect on the audience. He uses two main devices to accomplish this task

First Device – “Imaginarium

“Imaginarium” is the effort that an author uses in their speech to get the audience to imagine someone, in order to make a point. It does more than just using a simple representational anecdote. It actually tells a story to encourage the audience to think of a concept. This concept is not easily understood without using imaginarium.

Wallace uses imaginarium in his speech to lead into much broader topics. This provides the audience with a way to understand his concepts more clearly than they would if he had not given an anecdote about a concept that he had.

He uses this method in a couple key areas, both of which I will pull excerpts of in the following two examples:

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’”

“By way of example, let’s say it’s an average adult day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging, white-collar, college-graduate job, and you work hard for eight or ten hours, and at the end of the day you’re tired and somewhat stressed and all you want is to go home and have a good supper and maybe unwind for an hour, and then hit the sack early because, of course, you have to get up the next day and do it all again.”

Second Device – “Perspectivism”

“Perspectivism” is a device that Wallace uses to make people in the audience look at themselves differently. He challenges the traditional confines of thinking.
He uses this in his speech to engage his audience and to challenge the conventional ways of thinking, which help make his speech more interesting.
Wallace uses this method in a couple key areas, both of which I will pull excerpts of in the following two examples:
“Here is just one example of the total wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe; the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness because it’s so socially repulsive. But it’s pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth.”
“But most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line.”


By using both of these devices, Wallace was likely able to captivate his audience. He used many visual effects that helped tell his story and it likely increased their interest in what he was saying. Often, his anecdotes portrayed many of the feelings to which those in the audience could relate, and this likely made them pay much closer attention. His anecdote to open the speech, about the fish asking about what water is, likely sparked the attention of the existentialists in the audience. And Wallace likely kept them, and others, hooked throughout the speech with similar devices

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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