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“The Power of the Pen” by Malala Yousafzai


There are so many aspects of a speech that contribute to making it good or bad. However, this depends on the subject of the speech and the audience to whom the speech is intended. A teenage girl named Malala Yousafzai gave a speech addressing the rights of women and how to fight terror using pens and books. This essay seeks to analyze the effectiveness of her speech and what makes it a great success by looking at the various aspects she has used to convey her ideas.

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What is the speech about?

Malala Yousafzai’s speech is a passionate plea for peace and respect for the rights for women especially the young females. The girl has suffered in her campaign wherein one instance she was shot by the Taliban in Pakistani. The relentless passion to fight for the rights of women has made this speech one of the most read speeches globally. To capture the attention of a wider audience, the girl has chosen to address an issue of global interest. Violation of children’s rights has become a global concern and more sensitive are the rights of children of the female gender. A good speech has to be captivating and interesting and this is a characteristic in this particular one.

Which global concerns does the speech address?

In her speech, Yousafzai has addressed another global concern providing a solution to a problem that has been a thorn in the flesh globally. She has come up with a solution to the problem that the world has been fighting for decades. According to Yousafzai, terrorism can be curbed and defeated by simply providing pens and books for the girl child (Yousafzai par. 6). Other than just campaigning for the rights of girls to go to school, she has outlined one of the benefits of such an undertaking as wiping out terror. The girl has used captivating techniques to make her speech a success by involving matters that are of great interest on the international platform.

How does the author capture the audience’s attention?

The speech is rich in grammar especially in the use of imagery in expressing her views. She effectively manages to pass her point across by referring to pens and books as weapons. This creates an impression that pens and books are as powerful as the real artillery. Her imagery has effectively created emphasis and has helped her to pass her strong message in a very simple way. A speech that offers hope to the oppressed is more likely to receive a greater audience compared to one that criticizes. Her speech expresses hope when she says that “It is my dream that one day, great buildings like this one will exist in every corner of the world so every child can grow up with the opportunity to succeed” (Yousafzai par. 5).

Her language is persuasive and she strongly articulates the importance of books in a child’s life. This is effective because her opinion is held in contrast to the existing status quo. The current situation is that terrorism is rampant while the girl child and female gender as a whole have had their rights violated. The speech is written in a way to suggest that the author’s proposals are the only left options to deal with terror. A good speech must be particular as well as definite, and in her writing, she has tried to be precise and clear on her intentions and opinions. A good speech is not a list of suggestions but a definite answer or a solution to a specific problem. She has achieved that in her speech.

Writing skills

The writer knows how to pick emotions from the audience and this is very well shown in her statement where she said: “Let us not forget that even one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world” ( par. 8). Most of the prospective readers of this speech desire a change in the world and giving an approach to achieve this in a speech draws their attention. She goes ahead to emphasis on the power of a book when she states that “The content of a book holds the power of education and it is with this power that we can shape our future and change lives. There is no greater weapon than knowledge and no greater source of knowledge than the written word” (Shalinsky par. 10).

Malala has also utilized the skill of connecting with the audience and making them feel like part of the speech. This is achieved by addressing the audience as ‘Fellow Brummies’ ( par. 9). This makes the speech acceptable to the audiences since it makes them associate with it. By calling her audience ‘Fellow Brummies’ she actually manages to capture their attention and make them share her concerns as victims. This is a very effective way of influencing an audience. According to my judgment, the author seems to have achieved her goal through her speech since she wanted to make the problem a societal concern. She has managed to create an impression that pens and books are very powerful and can be used to turn the world into a peaceful place.

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The simplicity of this speech is the most striking aspect in my opinion. She has used simple arguments to present very complex world’s issues and the time she used to impact the world is significantly commendable. This paper has shown how successful the speech is through identifying the various features used by the writer to make it good.

Works Cited Books can fight terrorism: Malala 2013. Web. Malala Yousafzai invokes Mahatma Gandhi in her UN speech 2013. Web.

Shalinsky, Claire. The power of the pen//malala yousafzai’s, speech at the library of Birmingham. 2013. Web.

Yousafzai, Malala. The text of Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the United Nations. 2013. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, October 21). “The Power of the Pen” by Malala Yousafzai. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2020, October 21). “The Power of the Pen” by Malala Yousafzai.

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"“The Power of the Pen” by Malala Yousafzai." StudyCorgi, 21 Oct. 2020,

1. StudyCorgi. "“The Power of the Pen” by Malala Yousafzai." October 21, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "“The Power of the Pen” by Malala Yousafzai." October 21, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "“The Power of the Pen” by Malala Yousafzai." October 21, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) '“The Power of the Pen” by Malala Yousafzai'. 21 October.

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