Compare/Contrast The Writing Styles And Technique Used By Thomas Jefferson And Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

1055 words - 5 pages

Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. were brilliant men. The Declaration of Independence, written primarily by Jefferson, and the Letter From Birmingham Jail, written by King, are perfect examples of their intellect. Looking at these documents and observing the tactics they use while attempting to move their audience toward their ultimate goal, one can see the finesse that both Jefferson and King possessed. The Declaration of Independence had aspirations of obtaining a new form of government, away from the King of England, while the Letter From Birmingham Jail was intended to help move America toward a desegregated future. Jefferson was charged with moving the Colonists to armed ...view middle of the document...

Both Jefferson and King used a significant amount of emotional and logical appeal, not necessarily to make their audience aware of their stance, but to sway them to feel the same and to take action. The style in which the Declaration of Independence was written was very formal and proper, and the emotional appeals are undertone to the logical facts that are stated about the tyrannical King of England. While the statement "He has...sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance" was most likely meant to strike emotion in the colonists, it was stated in a very particular manner, which gave it a more logical appeal when read by one whom was not living in the colonies at that time. All of the statements made about the King placed strong emphasis on the fact that "HE" was the one responsible for these terrible acts on the colonies, and each statement was precisely constructed to appeal to different audiences in a different way. On the other hand, Dr. King is very direct when using emotional appeal. He used his greeting skillfully to disarm the clergymen who were responsible for his presence in jail, and then, to further build his character in their eyes, he says, "I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth." As he progresses through the letter and shifts toward different audiences he uses emotional appeal accordingly. The 14th paragraph of his Letter From Birmingham Jail is almost entirely devoted to calamitous situations that a common black family endured in his day. This was done to make the white audience aware of a black man's point of view, but also it was meant to hit home with the black community and, in turn, incite more of them to stand up against the everyday injustices.In addition to emotional and logical appeals, both Thomas Jefferson and Dr. King demonstrate their credibility with the use of appeals to authority via the use of religious or historical figures in their...

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