This in-class essay prompt asks students to compare/contrast "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards, "Speech to the Virginia Convention" by Patrick Henry and "Crisis, No. 1" by Thomas Paine.
The students are given three prompts to choose from and the prompts ask them to look for persuasive devices, to analyze purpose or thesis, or to look at how they represent the time period in which they were written.
Included is a chart that I had my students complete prior to the in-class essay. It helped them see the differences/similarities in the three pieces.