Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School

Communication Studies and Theatre

First Advisor

Rebecca A. Kuehl


In this thesis, I utilized three distinct theories (ideographs, dramatism, and the bully pulpit) to rhetorically analyze and assess President Trump’s 2017 inaugural address. Ultimately, I analyzed whether Trump deviated from Campbell and Jamieson’s (1985) presidential inaugural expectations. While the presidential inaugural address was the only text analyzed, implications were drawn from Trump’s rhetoric leading up to and within the inaugural. This thesis also analyzed Trump’s rhetoric through social media, specifically Twitter, and looked at the context surrounding the inaugural. I suggest, through my research, that Trump does deviate from the traditional framework of the inaugural address, and ultimately modernized the inaugural through his language. The analysis provided insight into who Donald J. Trump is as a rhetor and the modern use of each theoretical lens.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Trump, Donald, 1946- -- Oratory.
Trump, Donald, 1946- -- Inauguration, 2017.
Presidents -- United States -- Inaugural addresses.
Speeches, addresses, etc., American.
Speeches, addresses, etc. -- 21st century.
Communication in politics.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright