Peace Negotiations Timed Writing
AP English Language and
Background-The Tet Offensive
The Tet Holiday was an agreed truce/cease
fire between the Viet Cong and the US/South
Vietnamese Armies. The Viet Cong, however,
planned a surprise attack on 39 capitals, and
five major cities, including Saigon. The attack
was unsuccessful (well planned, but poorly
In this period, 40,000 VC soldiers, 1500
American soldiers, 3,000 South Vietnamese
soldiers, and 10,000 civilians were killed.
A Turning Point in the War
The Tet Offensive was a tactical defeat for
the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese
forces, but it inflicted severe damage on
American civilian morale.
President Lyndon Johnson saw his
popularity fall sharply after the Offensive,
and he withdrew as a candidate for re-
election in March of 1968.
The Role of Popular Opinion
The Tet Offensive is frequently seen as an
example of the value of media influence and
popular opinion in the pursuit of military
objectives. The fact that the Communists
were able to mount a major, country-wide
assault was a blow to American hopes of
winning the war rapidly.
Context of Letters
The “Peace Negotiation” letters were released
after President Johnson’s death. The letters
were originally written in February of 1967.
The Tet Offensive occurred shortly after the
letter from Ho Chi Minh was received by
AP Essay Prompt
Evaluate which letter is most
persuasive by analyzing the writers’
use of rhetorical devices and
persuasive appeals. Support your
claim with appropriate evidence.
It is highly suggested that you do a
rhetorical triangle as pre-writing in
order to organize your thoughts:
Rhetor, Subject, Audience, Purpose,
Context, Devices and Appeals.