write a one to two-page analysis on how Dr. King uses the strategy(ies) in his piece.
ASSIGNMENT – Reading Like a Writer: “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King
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Part of reading like a writer is examining the techniques used by the writer. For the piece you will be working with, we will be focusing on an examination of the technique of rhetorical appeal in formulating an argument. There are three rhetorical appeals most commonly used in argumentation: ethos, pathos, logos. See the image below:
LOGOS – the writer provides logic, reasoning, and proof to support his or her position. The writer will likely use evidence in the form of statistics, studies, supportive texts, etc.
ETHOS – the writer establishes credibility in order to gain the trust of the reader. This often involves the writer establishing him/herself as educated in the area being discussed and/or discusses credentials or qualifications. The writer may also choose words carefully and avoid ‘loaded words’ in order to establish and maintain the trust of the reader.
PATHOS – the writer appeals to the emotions and personal values of the reader. A writer might use personal anecdotes which carry emotional weight as ‘evidence’ in the piece. The writer will often choose words carefully to convey a particular emotion. The writer may even relay ideas that force the reader to confront his or her own value system and sense of right and wrong.
For this assignment, I would like you to choose ONE or TWO of the rhetorical strategies above (ethos, pathos, or logos) and write a one to two-page analysis on how Dr. King uses the strategy(ies) in his piece. You must provide references to the King text in your response either by way of quote/paraphrase or both. Please be sure to begin your analysis by identifying the social context from which the letter was created, who his audience is, and what his purpose is for writing. PLEASE NOTE: This is a homework assignment, not an essay.
NOTE: Be sure to ACTIVELY read each piece below. You can do this by printing out each piece and annotating as you go along.
First, for a bit of historical background on the piece, click here.
Now, click here (Links to an external site.) to read the clergymen’s letter to Dr. King.
Next, click here (Links to an external site.) for Dr. King’s response to the clergymen’s letter (“Letter from a Birmingham Jail”).