The Power of Zeal: Teddy Roosevelt's Life and Writing

30 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2013  

Julie A. Oseid

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2013


This article uses Teddy Roosevelt as a role model for the importance of zeal in persuasion. Writing with zeal increases the credibility of the writer and helps persuade the reader. A zealous lawyer has confidence and conviction in the client’s cause. Zeal was the defining feature of Roosevelt’s personality and his writing. As he lived his life with zeal, so he wrote and spoke with zeal. The article reviews Roosevelt’s life, focusing on how his specific personality traits influenced the writing habits that made him so persuasive. He believed in leading a life of vigor, so he worked hard. His moral certainty and belief in action led him to write and speak with conviction. Finally, his love of stories inspired him to use vivid language. The article concludes by reviewing a few of Roosevelt’s writings: a speech he delivered honoring Ulysses Grant, his autobiography, and a collection of his famous one-line statements.

Keywords: Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, legal writing, legal rhetoric, presidents, american presidents

Suggested Citation

Oseid, Julie A., The Power of Zeal: Teddy Roosevelt's Life and Writing (2013). Legal Communication & Rhetoric: J. ALWD, 2013, Forthcoming; U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-12. Available at SSRN:

Julie A. Oseid (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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