This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

A Rhetorical Analysis of The Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.

downloadDownload printPrint

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay. We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

score This essay is graded. Score 14/20
Download PDF

“I Have A Dream” Rhetorical Analysis

One of the most well known pieces of oratory of all time is Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech was written with the intention of persuade all Americans that all people are created equal under God and the law. The use of allusion and exposition aid in the overall effectiveness of his piece.

King’s use of allusion to the Bible, a patriotic song, and the Declaration of Independence are used to appeal to each person’s sense of moral obligation to uphold equality. By using biblical references like “and the crooked place will be made straight” he appeals to a Christian audience. No Christian wants to be seen as a sinner so by telling them that it is God’s will for people to live with equality he adds validity to his point. In the same manner, King uses a patriotic song “My Country Tis’ of Thee”. He urges one to listen to the sense of nationalism felt by the majority of Americans. By referencing the commonly accepted patriotic song he makes an undeniable case for acceptance of integration policy and universal equality. He also appeals to members of Congress and Americans who are tied to their roots by quoting the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was the beginning of the American Revolution, which is a heroic moment in American history. By comparing that event to that which was being experienced when he made the speech, King made his audience have a tangible understanding. By using sources that are commonly accepted by the majority of the population, King made each person feel a moral obligation to his cause through Christianity and nationalism.

The other technique that Martin Luther King Jr. uses to enhance the effectiveness of the oratory is exposition. He uses examples from his own life and the lives of others to make his piece more accessible to the average person. King uses his own children as an example of racial injustice. He says that his children should be judged upon their moral character and not upon their skin color. This statement is powerful to anyone who is a parent. For King to talk about his own children adds an element of emotion and makes his writing all the more effective in its purpose of persuasion. He also lists different mountains from which freedom should ring. This is in reference to his quote from “My Country Tis of Thee”. He lists the names of these mountains so that a listener might feel a personal connection as well. Examples heighten the personal response and cause people to act on their emotions.

King uses persuasive techniques like exemplifying and allusion to appeal to the broad audience that is the American public. He also uses techniques like repetition, specifically of the words “I Have a Dream” to emphasize the importance of his work and make sure that everyone understands that the outcome of this situation affects them no matter their race.

Essay Score 14/20
Sentence Structure
Evidence and Details
More about grading
You have included cited quotes to back up points. Spelling is accurate. Well done! A few things to bear in mind for future development: There are usually 3-5 points/arguments made in the average essay. There seems to be two in your essay (use of allusion and exposition). All titles within the essay should be in italics or quotation marks. There does not seem to be a concluding paragraph. The conclusion (last paragraph) should paraphrase the thesis, summarize the main points/arguments and end with a broad/wide statement about the topic in general.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from
“A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019,
A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Oct. 2021].
A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. [Internet] GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 03 [cited 2021 Oct 25]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.


    Attention! This essay is not unique. You can get a 100% Plagiarism-FREE one in 30 sec

    Receive a 100% plagiarism-free essay on your email just for $4.99
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!


    Professional writers and researchers


    Sources and citation are provided


    3 hour delivery