Rhetorical Analysis of the Declaration of Independence

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, United States, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 2 (497 words) Published: December 5, 2011
Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father and the third president of the United States of America, in his letter “The Declaration of Independence” (1776) argues that the thirteen colonies must demand freedom from Great Britain. To support his conclusion, Jefferson makes changes in between his rough draft and final draft in punctuation, grammar, and the overall connotation of his words. Jefferson’s purpose is to establish America’s Independence from Great Britain in order to earn their Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Jefferson’s audience is not only King George the Third, but also the people of America.

In Thomas Jefferson’s letter “The Declaration of Independence”, he uses the changes from his rough draft to his final draft to formalize and to make the document more professional, while keeping it simple. The changes that made the document formal included: punctuation, grammar, connotation, and the capitalization of words. The punctuation and grammar made the document proper. The connotations, or an idea or meaning suggested by or associated with a word or thing, improves the sentences. The capitalizations of words emphasized how important the words were.

One significant change is the capitalization of words. The rough draft does not capitalize words like “Nature”, “Laws”, and “Systems of Government”. The final draft capitalizes these words because they need to be emphasized and noticeable because they are very important. The rough draft does not make the words look significant.

Another significant change was the connotation. The rough draft had the phrase, “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable”, and while the final draft states “We hold these truths to be self-evident and undeniable”. The word “sacred” transformed to “self-evident”, this is one form of connotation. Connotation is an idea or meaning suggested by or associated with a word or thing. The connotations in the final draft improve the sentences in...
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