Powerful Persuasive Projects

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Ninth-grade honors students in Cathy Duffy’s English classes at R.C. Murphy Junior High School learned about argument, persuasion and the use of rhetoric during a recent interactive lesson.

Before reading Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s inaugural address, where the students would look for rhetoric and examine its effect on the listener/reader, they learned about the subject hands-on. Working in small teams, the students conceptualized a new product to solve a common life problem and then made short video commercials using the rhetorical concepts of ethos, pathos and logos to convince the viewer to purchase said product.  

“The students loved working with the subject matter in this way,” said Ms. Duffy. “They were able to better understand the concepts and will hopefully be better able to spot these types of rhetorical devices in the future as a result.”