Audience and Purpose

Read the first paragraph of King's letter, and then read it aloud.

16 April 1963

My Dear Fellow Clergymen:

While confined here in the Birmingham City Jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine goodwill and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.


Writing Assignment

After reading the first paragraph of Dr. King's letter, open the Analysis of Letter pdf below, and answer the following questions.

  1. Who is the audience or audiences of this letter?
  2. What is Dr. King's purpose in writing this letter?

Analysis of Letter Worksheet

Keep the PDF open; you will answer one more question on the next page. Remember to save your work as you go.