Document Type

Teacher Resource

Publication Date

Spring 2-8-2013


This lesson exposes students to the most fundamental rhetorical concept, that of the “rhetorical triangle,” a device for understanding and articulating audience awareness in persuasion. Provided here are suggestions for a brief and engaging mini-lecture, followed by an exercise using two classic pieces of American rhetoric, speeches by the suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Students will be challenged to learn the principles of the rhetorical triangle, close-read a text for rhetorical clues and cues, and make sound judgments about the speaker’s rhetorical process based on evidence. This lesson and activity are suitable for students in grades 9-12, and have been used by the author in the teaching of gifted 10th graders.