Friday, May 05, 2006

Rough Drafts & Great Writing

It was amazing for us to see the original Declaration of Independence at the National Archives last week, but anyone can check out the online version of one Jefferson's drafts at the link below. One can learn a lot about what the Founding Fathers had to consider with their writing, and about the art of persuasive and "corporate" writing in general.

The craft of writing such as this doesn't really get covered in the classroom. Maybe because it is so hard, few people can teach it well. But it may often mean the the crucial difference between revolutionizing the world or fading into obscurity, and many people would benefit from having a broader reach with their words.

In Jefferson's changes, look at the before's & after's - and see how it reflected his sensitivity to his different audiences, the richness word connotations and implications, and desire for simplifying arguments to their essential principles.

Declaration of Independence: Rough Draft
American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States
Speech @Web English Teacher

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