Jonathan Swift’s The Art of Political Lying: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis

Jonathan Swift’s The Art of Political Lying: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Jonathan Swift’s The Art of Political Lying: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Jonathan Swift’s The Art of Political Lying: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Jonathan Swift’s The Art of Political Lying: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Jonathan Swift’s The Art of Political Lying: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Jonathan Swift’s The Art of Political Lying: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Jonathan Swift’s The Art of Political Lying: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Jonathan Swift’s The Art of Political Lying: Practice with Rhetorical Analysis
Grade Levels
Common Core Standards
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This lesson encourages students to write a rhetorical analysis essay.

Students learn about the art of political lying.

Students will read, listen to and view supporting video and audio clips while learning the necessary elements to establish their argument on the theme of the unit. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a SOAPSTONE Analysis, short paragraph assessments, a Socratic seminar, and a written timed essay scored on an AP English-style rubric.

The central text is “The Art of Political Lying” by Jonathan Swift. The students will complete an evaluation on a purpose graphic organizer on this essay. The TED TALK used is, Satire, Hip-Hop, and Politics: Daniel Cohn at TEDxColumbiaSIPA. Links to different NPR, New York Times articles and many videos showing the themes of the unit. There is a short paragraph writing opportunity by writing Irish author Ian Sampson. Students will listening to Iam Sampson write a letter to Jonathan Swift; they will complete the evaluation of ethos, logos, and pathos. There is a lesson on rhetorical situation on the opening chapter of Why Leaders Lie by John J. Mearsheimer.

There is also a viewing the video, The Art of Political Lying: The Surprising Truth About How Our Leaders Lie | John Mearsheimer. The entire lessons act as a building of background knowledge for an original rhetorical analysis prompt based analyzing “The Art of Political Lying” by Jonathan Swift.

These five daily lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.


There are sources for teaching the Socratic Seminar, as the lessons act as building context for the argument analysis. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.


Total Pages
26 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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