I thought all of you essay-writers or anyone who writes in general would be interested in this. This is a great example, I think, of how your tone and voicing can really affect what you write. Here are two different versions of a letter I'm sending to my local newspaper regarding a recent event. The first is when I was still pissed off, and I revised and wrote the second (which I'll be using) when I cooled down and realized the need for tolerance.
I was very disappointed with the September 11th memorial service held last Wednesday morning at the Rotary Pavilion in Cadillac. I fully understand that this day of tragedy needs to be remembered; however, I strongly disagree with whoever’s judgement it was to carry out a blatant church function under the guises of a city event. If a ministerial association wishes to hold such a gathering, let it be conducted at a church or other suitable location, but do not let such an event be held on public property as a public service. I was astonished and disgusted with the complete sectarianism of the memorial. In the true spirit of a united, yet diverse America, this memorial service should have been non-denominational, allowing members of the community to participate regardless of their religious beliefs. Furthermore, as a member the Cadillac High School band, I was shocked that I was included in this event. The band was not informed prior to the event that it was a Christian function, and I deplore the fact that a school band was forced to participate in such a forcefully religious ceremony, and that its members were misrepresented as supportive of the proceedings. I came to honor my country and its heroes; I did not expect to join an evangelical prayer group.
DRAFT 2 (final draft)
As a member of the Cadillac High School band, I participated in the September 11th memorial ceremony held Wednesday morning at the Rotary Pavilion in Cadillac. While I feel that the ceremony was very respectful and well intentioned towards honoring our country and the victims of the terrorist attacks, there are two issues that I believe need to be addressed regarding the event.
I would like to address first the participation of a secular school band in the event (held by the Cadillac Area Ministerial Association). Although it is perfectly acceptable for individual members of the band to attend and participate in a religious event, I feel that as a unit a school band should not take part in a ceremony specific to one religion. Furthermore, I believe that I should have been informed beforehand of the unique circumstances of the memorial in order that I would be able to choose whether to participate or not.
Secondly, although I understand and sympathize with the organizers and attendees of the memorial service, I believe that under the circumstances of a national day of mourning, the event at the Pavilion should not have been sectarian. While the Ministerial Association has every right to assemble, a location such as a church or temple would have been more appropriate. If a memorial is held on public grounds, it is my belief that the event should be non-denominational, allowing the many diverse members of the community to join together in mourning and in faith regardless of their religious beliefs. The true spirit of America is the unity of our many diverse cultures and faiths. While I commend the Ministerial Association for creating and executing an excellent memorial service, the city and the association should have used better judgement in choosing a location for the event.
Anti-Bush ---- Anti-War ---- Pro-America