Your letter should clearly articulate your position (disagreement, partial agreement, full agreement, etc.) as well as your main reasons for accepting or rejecting the given proposition of your chosen text. This position should be supported through a mixture of analysis of pertinent sections of your chosen text, as well as your own examples and insights, which you might develop through personal anecdotes and experiences, or examples from readings in this class or others.
If you disagree with one of these authors, you must point out flaws in the position or the supporting reasoning.
If you agree with one of these authors, then you must somehow add to their position, either through additional examples or reasoning, or by adapting the authorâ€™s insights to a new purpose or audience.
For this assignment, you are not required to cite your chosen essay in MLA format because citations are not a feature of letters; however, you are expected to provide straightforward statements that indicate when you are referring to a specific argument or passage from one of the texts.
Your primary audience for this letter is, of course, the recipient (Wendell Berry) and your primary purpose is to persuade them of your position, but you should also keep in mind that other interested parties may end up reading your work. For instance, Martin Luther King Jrâ€™s Letter from a Birmingham Jail was written to persuade moderate white pastors in the Jim Crow south of the necessity of non-violent action, but millions of people continue to read it today for many other reasons.
If you are disagreeing with an author, your audience will include both the author and classmates who agree with his position.
If you are agreeing with one of the authors, your audience will include classmates who may not be persuaded by your chosen authorâ€™s position.