Genres of Speechwriting

  • Jens E. KjeldsenEmail author
  • Amos Kiewe
  • Marie Lund
  • Jette Barnholdt Hansen
Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)


In this chapter, we explore the notion of speech genres and how they can guide the speechwriter. In paying close attention to Greek and Roman canons of rhetoric, we view speechwriting processes primarily through their substantive, stylistic, and situational similarities. We outline the primary genres used in political speech in the USA and in Europe. We also ground these two settings in the Aristotelian typology of ceremonial, deliberative, and judicial speeches. We note that most political speeches are developed around the ceremonial and deliberative types and that there are overlaps between the European and American speechmaking such as assessing information relevant to a given speech, policy recommendation, and rehearsing national values. Finally, we note the unique position of invention in the relationship between speaker and speechwriter.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens E. Kjeldsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amos Kiewe
    • 2
  • Marie Lund
    • 3
  • Jette Barnholdt Hansen
  1. 1.Department of Information Science and Media StudiesUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of Communication and Rhetorical StudiesSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.School of Communication and CultureAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

Personalised recommendations