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It’s good to try to steer discussion back to ethos, pathos, and logos. I try not to gloat that their answers (“She was really prepared and into it and had good reasons”) are the same things I told them all to focus on in the first place.
In “The Declaration of Independence” Thomas Jefferson calls for the separation of the American colonists from the grips of an abusive and tyrannical England.
He makes his position clear to the colonist and most importantly the world by using persuasive appeals, syntax and diction.
Another day we look at the handout that compares drafts (attachment 3), and we talk about the writing and revision process–what changes were made and why, and if they’re better or not. I also tell them about the anti-slavery paragraph that the southern colonies made Jefferson take out–none of them have heard that before, so I put it on the projector and read it to them. I ask them to imagine something that they would want to be free from.
If they can’t think of anything unique, “school” and “parents” are the most common targets (they always think they’re being so edgy when they say that…). One year, a girl did hers on an eating disorder and it made her cry. Anyway, I give them half a day or so to draft their declaration, using the outline.
Rhetorical devices are phrases that have some sort of immediate sentiment attached to them without having to have the attachment explained.
Innuendo, loaded questions, euphemisms, stereotypes and hyperbole are some of the most commonly used rhetorical devices.
He says that he recognizes the need to state “the causes that impel that separation,” showing that he is conscious of his obligation to explain the actions of the colonist and that he has a “decent respect for the opinions of mankind.” The use of ethos helps Jefferson to present himself and the revolutionaries as reasonable, respectable and conscientious even though the actions they are about to take are radical and revolutionary.
In paragraph two, Jefferson sets forth a logical argument for those actions.
He uses deductive logic in the form of a syllogism to clearly present his argument.
He states that all people have rights guaranteed by their Creator, that it is the role of government to protect those rights, and that when it does not, “it is their right, it is their duty,” to alter or abolish that government.