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Intro to Communication

5 Canons of Speech/MLK “I Have A Dream”

Look up the “Five Canons of Speech” (also called the “Five Canons of Rhetoric” and “The Classical Canons”) on-line. You may want to look up a couple of sites to see if the definitions corroborate.

Be sure to identify both the English and the Latin term (i.e., the first canon is “inventio” in Latin or “invention” in English).

Provide both the definition and your own understanding of that definition.
Next, go to MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech (if this site is down, simply find another site that provides the video).

Also pull up the transcript of the speech.

Watch the video (approx. 18 minutes long) and follow the transcript of the speech at the same time, then write two examples for each canon (ten examples total) of how King used each canon in his speech.

(For example, under the third canon, style, King used figurative language when he said the government gave us a check marked “insufficient funds” – the government didn’t follow through with their promise).

Keep the examples brief (bullet points are fine) so I can simply see that you were able to identify some examples of each canon of speech.
This assignment should be typed, double-spaced and no longer than one page.

Last Updated on June 17, 2021

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