Argument, Bias, and Persuasion
Have students track arguments through texts as they examine logical reasoning, bias, and persuasive techniques such as emotional appeals, character attacks, and slippery slopes.
Excerpt from The Prince
Machiavelli discussed the value of cruelty and how it can be used to retain power.
President Obama's Remarks on Trayvon Martin Ruling
President Barack Obama
The President responds to the "not guilty" verdict of the Trayvon Martin murder case.
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Speech
The famous revolutionary speech that incited Virginia to organize a militia against British tyranny
Life Isn't Fair — Deal With It
According to columnist Mike Myatt, "Fair is a state of mind, and most often, an unhealthy one."
'Shut the Door' Speech
Senator Ellison DuRant Smith
During a 1924 congressional debate on immigration, a senator from South Carolina argued that we should "shut the door and breed up a pure, unadulterated American citizen."
Every Man a King
Huey P. Long
At the height of the Great Depression, Huey P. Long, a Louisiana senator, delivered this famous speech in which he denounced the rich and argued to "scale down the big fortunes."
Fear of Change
The inventor of the Model T exalts the working class and argues that progressive change is natural.
Putting Good Deeds In Headlines May Not Be So Good
Celebrating "do gooders" in the media could be making us lower our expectations for moral behavior.
Testimony Before the Senate Hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment
In her speech advocating in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment, feminist Gloria Steinem seeks to dispel myths about women.
The Plea for Eight Hours
Labor union leader Terence Powderly makes a reasoned argument in favor of reducing the work day for laborers.
What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?
The famous ex-slave and abolitionist points out the hypocrisy of "the home of the free" on Independence Day.
Act for Establishing Religious Freedom
Jefferson makes the argument for religious freedom in the United States.
Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature
In his essay, the Scottish philosopher discusses how one should approach the question of whether man is inherently good or evil.
From 'A Time for Choosing' Speech
In this famous speech, Reagan argues for "the maximum of individual freedom."
Speech on Slavery
Lincoln makes a case for free labor over "the great curse" of slavery.
Excerpt from 'On Drought Conditions'
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR addresses the “Dust Bowl” problem of the 1930s—during which severe drought and erosion conditions led to a prolonged agricultural crisis.
I Am Very Real
When a North Dakota school board burned copies of Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut responded with a letter arguing against censorship.
Why I Refuse to Say I 'Fight' My Disability
In this article, Hitselberger takes issue with the language sometimes used around the issue of dealing with one’s disability.
Washington's Farewell Address
President George Washington
In this letter written by Washington to the American people, the United States' first president explains his intent to decline a third term in office, leaving the nation with some final thoughts on unity, power, and freedom.