The open letter, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," by Martin Luther King Jr., was written to his ministers in a response to their criticism about his actions in Birmingham. He wrote it in April of 1963 when segregation was at its peak in the South. The increased violence, and social injustice caused unnecessary grief and despair among people, which based on his observations could lead to further insurgence and chaos among the people. Mr. King emphasized the need for change, acceptance, and understanding of black people, rather sooner than later, as the status quo no longer was able to address and solve the socioeconomic and the humane problems arising among people with different colors and various administrative or legislative branches. The author effectively used arguments based on values, character, and reasons to supports his ideas and actions. Mr. King took ownership by synchronizing rhetorical strategies like stating his title and experience, defining his course of action, and providing expressive and logical examples of the current situation to capture readers' attention. He was "[the] president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference," and was actively initiating and supporting improvements of the social environment. (King, p.1) He finds God in everything and believed in "the interrelatedness of all communities and states." (King, p.1) The author further increased his credibility and appeal by comparing himself to the Apostle Paul, and condemned the injustice, the unfairness, and the violence caused by the segregation. He defined the different steps of nonviolent campaign and explained how they have been applied to create effective response from the authorities. .
After establishing credibility, the author used various reasoning techniques to refute the ministers' criticism, and make strong argument supporting his actions. He used abductive reasoning in creating the nonviolent campaign and planned the direct-action program around Easter time.