Second Inaugural Address Rhetorical Appeals Activity

  • 9 pages
  • Subject: Ethos, Logos, Pathos, Rhetorical Devices, Lesson Plans and Educational Resources
  • Common Core Standards: RI.11-12.3, RI.11-12.5, RI.11-12.6, RI.11-12.9, RI.9-10.3, RI.9-10.5, RI.9-10.6, RI.9-10.9

Additional Second Inaugural Address Resources

Product Description

Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address on March 4th, 1865. In the speech, Lincoln is confident of a Union victory, but far from celebratory—much of the rhetoric in the speech focuses on reuniting a divided country. He makes rhetorical choices that carefully consider all involved in the war: the Union, the Confederacy, and the slaves. He appeals to his audience’s sense of justice by examining slavery and the Civil War through a religious lens. While making clear that slavery must be abolished, Lincoln’s address does not condemn the South; his paramount aim is to emphasize unity in order to reconcile a divided nation and move forward in a common cause. To that end, Lincoln appeals to his audience’s sense of shared humanity as Americans.

Skills: analysis, close reading, drawing inferences from text, examining the impact of diction on audience

About This Document

The Owl Eyes Rhetorical Appeals activity gives students an opportunity to practice examining and analyzing the Aristotelian rhetorical appeals: ethos, pathos, and logos. Students will analyze selected rhetorical appeals from the text to determine which appeal they best represent and explain the appeal’s impact. The main components include the following:

  • A brief introduction to the text
  • A detailed handout on rhetorical appeals
  • A list of tips for spotting rhetorical appeals
  • A step-by-step guide to activity procedure
  • A detailed answer key for teachers

In completing this worksheet, students will be able to examine and analyze Aristotle’s three rhetorical appeals in order to evaluate works of rhetoric and the techniques they employ.