Persuasive Techniques

Topics: United States, Martin Luther King, Jr., African American Pages: 2 (569 words) Published: January 15, 2013
Out of the numerous techniques that are available for writers, persuasive and literary techniques are most commonly used in writings like Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and Barack Obama’s election night victory speech. “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” has many examples of each type of persuasive techniques, and it includes literary techniques like allusions and figurative language. When King states that Birmingham is one of the most thoroughly segregated cities in the United States, he is using the persuasive technique of logos. This is an example of logos because King uses facts and statistics to help support his argument. As King is justifying why he is in Birmingham, he supports his claim by stating that he is the president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and provides information about what his conference does to help the southern communities. This is considered using the persuasive technique of ethos because King uses his position as president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference to back up his claim as to why he is in Birmingham. King uses pathos, the last persuasive technique, when he is complaining to the clergymen that colored people do not receive the God given rights, unlike white people. This is an example of pathos because King uses emotional language and numerous sensory details while defending his claim. King alludes to many historic people including the prophets of the eighth century B.C. He relates his occupation of carrying the gospel of freedom beyond his hometown with the prophets who carry the gospel of Jesus far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns. King also alludes to the Apostle Paul by comparing himself to Paul as having the same idea of responding to a call for aid. King also uses many similes and metaphors in his letter including when he is comparing the early church to a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.  In Barack Obama's election night victory speech, Obama...
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