To practice rhetoric, let’s look at two pieces of writing that feature a profession famous for its rhetorical gifts—lawyers. Lawyers have a very short amount of time to get jurors to agree with them.
The first passage you’ll look at is a piece of fiction, linked below. It was written by Harper Lee in her book To Kill a Mockingbird. In this scene, Atticus Finch is defending a black man who is accused of attacking a white woman. This is his closing argument. Pay close attention to the very thoughtful word choices that Atticus uses to get the jurors to be on his side.