As part of their mid-term exam, my communication students were given a copy of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech and were asked to answer five essay questions about it. I emailed them after the class in which they received this assignment, reminding them of the questions, directing them to a video link to the speech, and asking them to:
Please be sure that your answers are typed and grammatically clean (full sentences, capital letters where needed; in short, try not to make the same errors I was complaining about on Tuesday). Your answers must be complete and comprehensive: don’t just phone this assignment in, please – really THINK about what I’m asking you, read and listen to the speech more than once, and give me responses that show evidence of complex thinking. Wow me with how brilliant you are.
The first question asks:
Why is Dr. King’s speech so powerful and such an effective piece of persuasion? Do you think that time has any impact, positive or negative, on the effectiveness of the speech? Explain.
Here’s a real, live answer I got to this question:
He uses history a as crutch, and the history of segregation and the pursuit of black people.
Sometimes, it’s hard NOT to be despondent….