Work for the Week
Tuesday and Wednesday
Read and Discuss: “Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs” from Common Sense, Thomas Paine and “Address to Congress on Women’s Suffrage,” Carrie Chapman Catt
TEXT DESCRIPTION: Both texts are seminal US documents. Paine’s piece states his argument for American independence, and Catt’s speech is an address to Congress in support of women’s suffrage.
TEXT FOCUS: Both texts make effective use of logos and ethos to establish and develop their central arguments.
Thursday and Friday
Read and Discuss
“Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring,” PBS
“A Fable for Tomorrow” from Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
“Speech to the Second Virginia Convention,” Patrick Henry
TEXT DESCRIPTION: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was written to inform people of the dangers associated with the use of pesticides and other chemicals. This excerpt describes a hypothetical town impacted by excessive chemical use, provides an overview of how the use of chemicals has expanded over time, and proposes a possible course of action. Patrick Henry’s speech presents a call to action to arm the Virginia militia to fight against the British in the American Revolution.
TEXT FOCUS: As you read the excerpt, pay special attention to how Carson develops her argument and the rhetorical devices she employs to achieve her goal. Henry’s speech addresses the topic of American colonies establishing their own country separate from Britain. Consider the occasion and audience for each of these texts and the impact on the arguments, paying special attention to each author’s appeal to pathos in addition to analyzing how each author builds credibility and appeals to logic (ethos and logos).