Friday, January 31, 2014

Declaration Close Reading

Declaration of Independence

Relationship Among Ideas:
1. Identify and explain any opposing claims Jefferson anticipates.  What counterarguments does he offer? How do these relate to his overall argument?

Author’s Methods:
2. What is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

3. What claim does Jefferson make in the first paragraph of the Declaration, and what support does he say he will provide? Does he then provide adequate support?

4. What claims does Jefferson make about governments? How do these claims impact his argument?

5. What is the effect of Jefferson’s use of the word “duty” in the second paragraph?

6. What is the persuasive effect of his language in the closing paragraphs?

Drawing an Inference:
7. Can we infer anything about Jefferson’s intended audience based on his diction?

8. Looking back over the entire text, what is distinctive about the structure of Jefferson’s argument? How does the structure contribute to the impact of the argument?

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