PSCI 1050 Persuasive Speaking Assignment
1. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is considered a classic modern American address (Link to see and listen to the speech: https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm ). He spoke at a time when segregation was still the law in many states. Although he was directly addressing a supportive crowd gathered in Washington, D.C., he was also aware of the larger audience, many of whom were hostile, that would be reached through print and electronic media. No one could have foretold the dramatic and historic effect that this speech would have for decades to come. Review a transcript of this speech and then write an essay or speech on one or more of the following questions: –>(<1000 and keep it simple and clear) a. How did Dr. King use ethos, logos, and pathos to persuade his audience to consider his appeal? b. What aesthetic elements—for example, metaphors, repetition, Biblical references—were used to create a unified, eloquent address? c. To what extent has Dr. King’s inspiring dream been realized? What remains to be done to create the society he envisioned? 2. Respond to at least 2 other people. –>(Bellow are 2 discussion to respond at. Simple respond not more than 250 words; agree or not to a point or idea or the entire discussion and why and maybe you could add a point or other idea)
D#1. “Dr. King used ethos, or the ethical appeal, to persuade an audience of the author’s character to back his arguments by relating to African Americans and Americans in general for the civil rights movement by demonstrating himself as reliable.
Pathos means to persuade an audience by appealing to their emotions. He used pathos to build a relationship with King’s black and white audiences, as exemplified by his references to black and white children and references to slavery, which appealed to both parents and the older generation.
Logos refers to logic or reason to persuade an audience. D.Kings’s analysis of the then-current laws explained that the founding fathers drafted the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, to which every American would become subject. He went on to say that the letter promised that all men, black or white, would have “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” it was blatantly ignored by America.
In 2021, there have been laws and programs to help reverse the effects of racism on blacks since the Martin Luther King I had a dream speech. Tho now, African Americans have to face systematic racism, a form of racism still present today. Prejudice in the criminal justice system, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among or just a few examples of how racism has evolved to keep African-Americans anchored.”
D#2. “Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” Speech is one of the most recognizable speeches in history and rightfully so, MLK uses all components of what makes a strong persuasive argument. The most important three being ethos (personal credibility), logos (reasoning and organization), and pathos (emotional appeal). With these three essential elements one is able to constitute a strong persuasive argument. MLK had already gained credibility as a speaker and an activist in the Civil Rights Movement even before this speech. He was a key player in the Montgomery Bus Boycott’s, helped establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), was famous for his non-violent protests, started the Birmingham Campaign, and his letters from the Birmingham jail are also famed. In the famous “I Have a Dream” speech MLK also shows his ethos by delivering his speech in a certain manner, he voice is clean and cut, the words he uses are not too pretentious but also not overly simplified. If you watch a video of MLK giving his speech you can see he is wearing a sharp suit adding to a respectful reputation, also in a video you can see how he only ever glances down and instead keeps his eyes up and forward to the audience, this shows that he knows what he is saying and that he is confident in his words and did not simply memorize or is just reading off his speech. Another piece that makes up a strong argument is that of logos, reasoning and organization. I feel as though MLK’s speech fits closely with the problem-solution format. Right away in his introduction he presents the topic of his speech (racial inequality in America) and his stance on the topic (opposed). He also mentions famous American documents as evidence for his argument such as the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence quoting the famous phrase, “-guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” then following it up with how America has not delivered on this promise. MLK than lists the harms of what segregation can do saying:
We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only. “We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
This quote not only supports his logos by being factual evidence but it uses pathos too, the emotional part of an argument, MLK is speaking not only about racial injustice but human injustice which every person listening should be able to feel empathy towards. MLK continues on in his speech breaking down why the problem exists, the significance of it, and what we as an American people need to do about it. He closes out with a very memorable quote that we now all know shouting the words, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” I believe that the third vital piece of a persuasive argument is MLK’s strongest, pathos, the emotion component of an essay/speech. MLK uses emotion to relate to his audience and since he is speaking on human rights, as mentioned before, it is something everyone can relate to or at least envision themselves in. Martin Luther King also uses emotion in a tasteful and ethical manner, everything that he says is both true and accurate, with solid reasoning and evidence, and based on healthy emotions, he did not go into speech riled up and angry. Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs we can identify that African-Americans were being denied some of the most basic needs that people require. It starts at the safety needs, the second level of the pyramid, which means everything above that level cannot be fully fulfilled either. Some of the safety needs black Americans were not receiving were protection from bodily harm, decent housing, adequate and safe products, even sickness prevention. MLK brings this to light in his speech and is able to strike a chord within people, then using that emotion to further his cause within his believing audience, enlighten and convert his neutral audience, and bring his hostile audience to do some reconsidering, which he did so profoundly.”
Requirements: Less than 1200 words | .doc file