Mr. Darcy's Guide to Argument for the Sake of Understanding | Persuasive Letters

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Multimedia
49 pages
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that Mr. Darcy’s climactic letter to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice is one of the greatest epistolary examples in any novel. To a similar degree, it’s agreed that there is too much fighting, “owning,” and trolling in today’s society, and not enough engaging, explaining, and seeking to understand. In today’s ELA classrooms, it seems imperative to teach Mr. Darcy’s letter in itself, and also as a model of argumentation for the sake of understanding, for proudly explaining oneself without prejudice, for—as the kids would say—“squashing things” with people we like.

This unit is primarily focused on the formal analysis of Mr. Darcy’s letter so that students can write their own thoughtful, proud, mediating letters to people for whom they care. This was a favorite lesson in my AP classes, and I’m certain it’s a winner at any level.

Included in this unit are some extension activities, namely the opportunity for your students to analyze other letters.

Finally, we hope your students will apply their lessons to their own letter-writing habits.

Instructional Objectives
Students will be able to comprehend and analyze Mr. Darcy’s letter to Elizabeth.
Students will be able to compare and contrast the structural fundamentals of Mr. Darcy’s letter with other letters.
Students will be able to use these fundamentals to write their own exemplary letter.

We're happy to share these lessons with you, and ask that if you enjoy them to please rate them here, and tell others what you think. We appreciate your support, and would love to hear your feedback. You can find us on Twitter at @TheMrGodsey, and on the web at

Podcasting in the ELA Classroom by Michael Godsey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Total Pages
49 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.


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