Intro to Rhetorical Analysis – The Gettysburg Address


Intro to Rhetorical Analysis –
The Gettysburg Address

Rhetorical analysis is an increasingly important element of the language arts classroom from high school to college. With an emphasis on critical thinking and language awareness, rhetorical analysis is arguably the cornerstone of the contemporary view of essential literacy skills for the 21st century.

Students and teachers alike are often helped by resources that articulate, outline, and simplify the process of rhetorical analysis while also taking this mode of text analysis beyond its commonly discussed foundational terms – ethos, logos and pathos.

This resource looks at the brief and famous “Gettysburg Address” given by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 and demonstrates the process and the sorts of material that results from analyzing a text through the lens of rhetorical analysis.

As a lead-in to the rhetorical analysis practice, this resource also includes some brief lecture notes introducing the concept and main ideas of rhetorical analysis.
Note: A printer-friendly version of “The Gettysburg Address” is provided in addition to a larger font for projection or easy online reading.

Rhetorical Terms Discussed:

  • Rhetoric
  • Purpose
  • Persona
  • Audience
  • Metaphor
  • Anaphora
  • Repetition
  • Parallel Syntax
  • Antithesis

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