2017 Steve Campsall

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writing to persuade - example


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Read through this speech and look out for how this famous speaker uses persuasion effectively. A few particularly effective persuasive devices have been highlighted for you.

JOHN F KENNEDY, American president, inaugural speech
January 20, 1961

'So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring the problems that divide us.

Let both sides join to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tape the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah - to 'undo the heavy burdens ... and let the oppressed go free'.

Now the trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need - not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, 'rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation' - a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, north and south, east and west, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, and the devotion which we bring to this endeavour will our country and all who serve it - and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow-Americans: ask not what your country will do for you - ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow-citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you but what together we can do for the freedom of man.'


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