Introducing the Essay: Twain, Douglass, and American Nonfiction (emphasis on logic)

This group of lessons is an introduction to American nonfiction essays with an emphasis on rhetorical devices. Students identify different types of writing an essay can be (narrative, cause-effect, etc) and apply to the essays. In the next lesson students learn about pathos, logos, and ethos and apply these persuasive appeals to the essays given. Students write an essay utilizing a specific essay type and persuasive appeals. This resource can be used to introduce nonfiction by American writers or used as a part of a larger logic unit in context of American literature. These lessons can also be connected to author's tone.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5
Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8
Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CLE 3001.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of challenging oral and written contexts.
CLE 3001.5.2
Analyze text for fact and opinion, cause/effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
CLE 3001.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and the quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3001.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument
CLE 3001.8.4
Analyze works of literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
CLE 3002.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of challenging oral and written contexts.
CLE 3002.5.2
Analyze text for fact and opinion, cause-effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
CLE 3002.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and the quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3002.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
CLE 3002.8.4
Analyze works of literature for what is suggested about the historical period in which they were written.
CLE 3003.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3003.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
CLE 3005.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of complex oral and written contexts.
CLE 3005.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3005.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
SPI 3001.5.1
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
SPI 3002.5.1
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
SPI 3003.4.3
Evaluate the reliability and credibility of sources for use in research.
SPI 3003.5.8
Determine whether a given argument employs deductive or inductive reasoning. (NOTE: NO Check for Understanding)
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; cite the strongest, most compelling textual evidence to support conclusions.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; cite the strongest, most compelling textual evidence to support conclusions.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.9
Support and defend interpretations, analyses, reflections, or research with evidence found in literature or informational texts, applying grade band...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning supported by relevant and sufficient evidence.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 
  • Learn the various methods for writing essays and their basis in rhetorical tradition
  • Learn through example effective strategies for writing essays and argumentative prose
  • Read and analyze Mark Twain and Frederick Douglass's writing styles
  • Understand the persuasive appeals: ethos, logos, and pathos.
  • Apply rhetorical strategies learned in this lesson to essay writing projects of their own.
Essential and guiding questions: 

What are the different kinds of essays and how are they based in rhetorical tradition? What are some effective strategies in persuasive writing?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Analyzing

References

Contributors: