Rhetorical Analysis of the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence is a successful argument because of his use of facts and logic to justify the United States is free from English rule. The paper I am writing for my Critical Evaluation Essay is comprised of an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction discusses three reasons why I believe Jefferson’s argument is valid. The body paragraphs go into more detail about why Jefferson’s arguments are valid and declare what type of support is used, ethos, pathos, or logos. Throughout the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson utilizes mainly two of the three, logos and pathos. The conclusion of my paper restates the introduction and proves my viewpoint on why the writing is successful.
In my Critical evaluation essay, I plan to cite examples of pathos from Jefferson’s work on the Declaration of Independence and explain why it appeals to the emotions and feelings of the reader. The credibility of the author is another item that I will address in my essay, due to the fact that, at the time when the Declaration was written, Jefferson was a well-respected man. Finally, I will discuss the authors appeal to the logical side of his argument, which in this case comprises most of the document. Thomas Jefferson, in my opinion, employed all three of Aristotle’s appeals when the Declaration of Independence was written; however, the most used of Aristotle’s appeals is Logos. When Jefferson states “That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.” (National Archives 2012) It appeals to logos and pathos. It is logical because the statement makes sense and provides justification and it’s pathos because it generates an emotional response from the people is stating that they have the right to abolish a Government that does not support the People.
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Evaluating another person’s writing allows the author to see a different point of view and possibly learn how to more effectively produce a perspective that readers may align them with. This is important because it will help the author get their point across and persuade the readers to agree with the author. In future APUS courses, this can be used to help students correctly use ethos, pathos, and logos to convince people of their viewpoint on the papers they are required to write.
Jefferson, Thomas.“ The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.” National Archives. n.d. Web. 11 May 2012.
The driver, Helen, Natascha Gast, and Susan Lowman-Thomas. “Constructing Credible Arguments, Reading Critically, and Writing Effectively.” English 102 – Effectiveness in Writing. 2012. Web.