Character X-Ray and Hot Seating – Analyzing a Persuasive Essay or Speech

Topic: Analyzing a Persuasive Essay or Speech 
CLI Strategy: Character X-Ray and Hot Seating 
Subject: ELA – Reading 
Grade: Middle/High

Students will be able to: Analyze the rhetoric and tactics used in writing a persuasive essay or speech.


Character X-Ray 

  • Print out the essay or speech. Have students break apart and cut up the essay according to when they think the author is changing persuasive tactics.
  • Draw the outline of a person.
  • On the outside of the outline: Arrange the parts of the speech.
  • On the inside: Write down what tactic or rhetoric the person is using in the speech.
  • Draw a line between the part of the speech and the skill or rhetoric they are using.

Hot Seating 

  • Select a student or group of students to go into role as the author.
  • Ask student(s) questions about how they composed their speech/essay, what they were trying to accomplish, and how they were making their different points.
    • Why did you decide to discuss ________ first?
    • What were you thinking when you wrote…..?


  • What did we learn from our students in role as the author?
  • What strategies did they use to get their point across?
  • Which persuasive strategy do you think is the most effective?

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