The final essay assignment in WR 100 allowed us a lot of freedom in choosing which rhetoric we wanted to discuss in our papers. The speakers I chose—Frederick Douglass, Sarah Grimké, and William Lloyd Garrison—were not only great writers and speakers, but also important vehicles of societal change. While their greatness certainly links them, I was initially unsure of how to further connect them in my paper. After considering my interest in the subject, I decided to focus on the specific tactics and devices these figures implemented—and the different ways in which they applied them—to promote positive change during the abolition and women’s rights movements. Studying the rhetorical methods that promoted positive change in the past is important if we are to continue to better our society.

SOPHIE PEARL SPIERS, originally from Concord, Massachusetts, is a rising sophomore in BU’s College of Arts and Sciences. She is double majoring in international relations and French. Sophie is honored to have been recognized by those involved in WR, and would like to thank her WR 100 professor, David Shawn, for his support in writing and revising this essay. This essay was written for David Shawn’s course, WR 100: Oratory in America