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The Birmingham Jail Letter By Martin Luther King jr
Please respond to the prompt of your choice in essay form. Short essay form includes an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs (three, at least), and a brief conclusion. Direct quotation from the letter should be utilized within the essay. Please make this your original work, as opposed to what has been written and published already online. I will use TURNITIN to check for originality.
Please use MLA format (found in D2L). That means everything should be double spaced, biographical information on the first page top left, page numbers with your last name beside it on the top of each page. Please include in text citations and works cited with this work for anything you borrow.
Aristotle said that the most successful persuasive communicators had mastery of the three classical appeals of logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos is an appeal to reason. Pathos is an appeal to emotion. Discuss how King uses logos and pathos to his advantage in “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” Use clear examples of each, and explain what you think King intended to accomplish by using these appeals.
Ethos is an appeal that centers around the writer or speaker establishing her or his own credibility with his/her audience. Aristotle believed that the writer must come across as a trustworthy and fair minded source of information if the audience was to find him compelling. Many scholars have said that King does a particularly good job of establishing his credibility as a communicator in this Letter. If you agree, write an essay describing how King successfully builds his credibility.
As discussed in our textbook, a solid argument is usually built around the writer’s use of good evidence, and our book categorizes different types of evidence on pages 327-335. In an essay, describe the type(s) of evidence King uses in his letter, and explain very clearly why you feel that the evidence is effective. Keep in mind the first two elements of the rhetorical situation: purpose and audience.
As we have discussed in class, acknowledging and possibly refuting the viewpoints of one’s opposition may prove to be crucial to winning an argument. King is directly addressing an audience of people who are critical of his work. Does King address points made against him? Which, specifically, and how does he refute the opposition? Would such counterarguments help an objective observer side with King? Discuss how the writer deals with acknowledging and refuting the other side in “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”
Figurative language is a staple of narrative and memoir writing, which relies on descriptiveness. King is very adept at using figures of speech and imagery within this letter. Write a short essay discussing how King utilizes imagery and figurative language, and how, specifically, in reiterates his purpose as writer.