1.2.3. Read the Declaration of Independence and an Essay
Reading Materials American Literature and Composition
Name: Dheeksha Shalghar
In this activity, I did some helpful material for students who are reading the Declaration of Independence
for the first time. Assume that you are reading this document in English class and already know the basic
historical context. Write an introduction paragraph explaining how language is used in the text, and then
make 6 to 12 annotations on the Declaration of Independence to help them understand and begin to
analyze the document as they read.
This writing assignment will focus on the following skills:
Defining unfamiliar words in context
Identifying rhetorical strategies, deductive reasoning, and syntax
Using clear language to annotate a text
A word of warning: Don't try to imitate the content of the annotations in the reading guide. That reading
guide contains many historical context annotations and explanations that are outside the scope of your
assignment. Your job is to focus on language specifically and to share your own thoughts on the
Declaration of Independence.
Technology note: This assignment asks you to insert footnotes into the text of the Declaration of
Independence. If you cannot work on a computer or do not have a word processing program that allows
you to do this, see your teacher for a different option.
Write the definitions of the following words.
If you come across a word you don't know, write it in a blank space below. Try to figure out what the
word means by looking at its context. Then use your dictionary or the Internet to look up the correct
definition for the word.
A brief explanation that accompanies whatever it is explaining such as an
image, a line of poetry, or different vocabulary word.
Language written or spoken in a manner that respects accepted rules and
uses proper vocabulary and grammar.
Without opinion or bias