Research Topic mini handout: Answers
1. What is your topic
MLK rhetorical document: strategies and concepts. Compare to other speeches to demonstrate how well written it is.
2. What is/might be your research question? Remember that often we begin our research with a question, or something we want answered or something we wonder.
How is his letter appealing and influencing his audience, especially in comparison to other movement leaders speeches?
3. Be honest; what research have you conducted so far on this topic? Write a clear and manageable goal for the next phase of your research (i.e. what do you plan to do next?)
Have gone through class notes on his leter and past notes on writing a good argumentative essay.
I plan to re-read the letter and draw specific examples.
I also plan to research other information on this letter and on other leader(s) speeches.
4. What do you already know about your topic.
I have a lot of background information on MLK and on his reasoning for this letter he wrote in a Birmingham jail.
Plus I have a lot of knowledge on the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and this time period, including other leaders from this era.
Peer Reviewed Essays: MLK Essay
Patton, John H. “A Transforming Response: Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs.” April 8, 2010
“This essay examines the rhetorical situation of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail." It argues that King's "Letter" was an essential response for civil rights to continue as a mass movement in Birmingham and beyond. At a broader level, King's "Letter" demonstrated the enactment of rhetorical transformation. By creative use of kairos and pathos the letter rebutted the claims of the moderate white clergy in Birmingham and changed King's rhetorical persona and presence. The "Letter" transformed the idea of reasonableness from the province of moderation alone and united it with justifications for direct civil disobedience. Consequently, the "Letter" as rhetorical response opened a new public frame for pragmatic, value-based identification with civil rights for historical and contemporary audiences.”
Berry, Edward. “Doing Time: Kings “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs.” April 8, 2010
“The enduring rhetorical power of King's "Letter" has much to do with the way in which it responds to the central problem faced by the civil rights movement generally, and especially in Birmingham: is this the time for civil disobedience? King made the question of timeliness the central motif in his "Letter." In developing three interrelated conceptions of time—"sacred," "personal," and "patriotic"—King challenged his audience, both emotionally and intellectually, to achieve a new understanding of time and to fulfill its demands in a moment of crisis.”
Patton, John H. “A Transforming Response: Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs.” April 2010.
Berry, Edward. “Doing Time: Kings “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs. April 2010.
Osborne, Michael. “Rhetorical Distance in ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs. April 2010.
“This essay explores the concept of rhetorical distance as the counterpart of esthetic distance. Rhetorical distance functions as a critical lens through which one may view Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail." It reveals King's artistry in controlling an array of implied symbolic spatial relationships to achieve rhetorical ends.”
Soloman Watson, Martha. “The issues is Justice: Martin Luther King’s Response to Birmigham Jail.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs. April 2010
Examining King's "Letter" in juxtaposition with the two preceding statements by the irmingham clergy, this essay explores the tension in values between King and his clergy peers.While the clergy focused on the immediate situation in Birmingham, King insisted on viewing the struggle there on a larger canvas
Utly, Ebony and Leff, Michael. “Instrumental and Consecutive Rhetoric in Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail.’” Rhetoric and Pubic Affairs. April 2010
About surpressed groups use rhetorical means to altar the circumstances. King critizing target audience without alienating himself from it.
Johnson, David. “Martin Luther King Jr.’s1963 Birmingham Campaign as an Image event.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs. April 2010
Using what Kevin DeLuca has defined as the "image event" as a mode of public address, King targeted the conscience of white moderates by making visible the reality of racial injustice.
Goldzwig, Steven R., “LBJ, The Rhetoric of Transcendence, and The Civil Rights Act of 1968.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs. April 2010
Convergence of presidential public persuasion in a context of increasing domestic violence associated with a series of summer disturbances and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Analysis of Lyndon Johnson's public discourse supporting the 1968 Civil Rights Act reveals that rhetorical transcendence was employed as a recurrent strategy in attempts to pass legislation.
Schultz, Mary. DeAnza College. “Color coded rhetorical analysis of Letter from Birmingham Jail.” www.faculty.deanza.fhda.edu/schultzmary/stories. Safari. April 2010
Shows the use of opposites argument, use of emotional appeal or pathos, use of appeal to authorities or reputation of ethos, and use of appeal to logic or logos.
Jones, Chris. News: associated content. “Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” www. associatedcontent.com/article. Safari. April 2010
Picks apart the letter and its Rhetorical strength.
The Black Commentator. “The Empathetic power of Images: Civil Rights, Vietnam, and Today.” www.blackcommentator.com. Safari. April 2010