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A response paper 

4.  Response Paper #3:Finding Common Ground in “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

DUE DATE: Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Write a response paper based on an assigned reading and writing prompt. Your response paper must be 500 words and in MLA format (see attached link MLA formatting and documentation guidelines: https://daytonastate.edu/cwc/files/Codex-MLA8.pdf). The introduction of your response should contain the name of the work being summarized, the author, and the general situation surrounding the text to help contextualize what will follow. The body of your response should make a claim about an aspect of the text that you find interesting and worthy of discussion. Additionally, the body of your response must include support for your claims in the form quotations. Follow closely the work you are responding to and cite an occasional word, phrase, or passage from the original to give your reader a taste of the original. Your response should begin to draw conclusions, possibly explaining how your understanding of the original is important in a broader context.

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Assigned Prompt:

Read “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr.: MartinLutherKingJr_Letter Birmingham.pdf

In “Letter from Birmingham City Jail,” Dr. King used the Rogerian method when he expressed understanding for his audience by reaching out to them saying “men of genuine good will and your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I would like to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms”. In his letter, King acknowledged their views, while disagreeing with their statements point by point. King spends nearly half of his letter addressing counterarguments before he launches into his main argument to the clergyman. In doing so, King sort to establish common ground throughout his letter. Write a response analyzing this argument. What are his major claims, his assumptions, the types of evidence he uses to establish common ground in his letter? Cite evidence from King’s text to support your claims. 

Answer preview

To find common ground is to direct an argument towards a mutual agreement. The common ground tends to end the conflict because it seeks to analyze each party’s views to arrive at a common understanding.  To establish a common ground, one can use the Rogerian argument strategy, which helps the arguing parties to identify common ground. An excellent example of Rogerian argument is found in the letter titled Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter explains how King responded to the criticism of the opposing white community and his message to fellow clergymen. It was after he was arrested because of leading human rights demonstrations.(556words)