Do American citizens have an obligation to be politically active in times of injustice?
If your answer is yes:
If your answer is no:
You may have to find other sources to support your assertions, but you may be able to use some quotes and paraphrases from Dr. Kingâ€™s â€œLetter from a Birmingham Jailâ€ if only to disagree with it or respond to it.
If youâ€™re not sure and you want to customize the topic a bit, send me a message to get approval.
(Donâ€™t wait until the night before it is dueâ€¦I might be asleep!)
For example, if you have a home country other than the USA. You might want to compare your countryâ€™s policy on political activism to the USAâ€™s. Thatâ€™s fine; you donâ€™t need to ask permission for that.
Or maybe you want to turn the topic into a yes/no answer, like, â€œIn some ways Americans are obligated to confront injustice, and in other ways they arenâ€™t.â€ Thatâ€™s fine and you donâ€™t have to check with me first.
Guideline: As long as you are addressing the general topic I am satisfied. The goal is to use Dr. Kingâ€™s famous essay in some way, in addition to other sources you find.
Keep in mind that there is no right answer; you are not being graded on your political stance/ position/ opinion, but whether or not you support your argument.
SOURCE MATERIAL: “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King
- Make sure that your essay has an introduction, conclusion, and topic sentences for body paragraphs. These concepts are addressed in modules and in The West Guide. In this essay, your thesis is your answer to the prompt. Everything else in the essay (your topic sentences, and the examples you choose) should be organized around that.
- Use examples from the text in the form of paraphrases and quotes from the book to support your assertions. At the end of every sentence in which you use a quote, put a page citation like so (56)–unless, as I told you in class, you already worked the page number into the sentence, or, you are quoting from a source with no page number.
Works Cited Page
You may have only one source on your Works Cited page: Kingâ€™s â€œLetter from a Birmingham Jail.â€ Still have one; itâ€™s good practice. Many people will have more than just this source.
Helpful West Guide Chapters for Writing Essay 2 (2nd Edition, 2018)
Ch. 9 Pre-writing, Brainstorming, etc. p.163
Ch. 11 Drafting the Essay p. 171
- Thesis Statements p.171
- Topic Sentences p.177
- Transitions p.181
Ch. 11 Evidence p. 187
Ch. 12 Introductions p.197
Ch. 13 Conclusions p.207
Ch. 14 Revising and Polishing p. 213
Rubric for self-grading begins on p. 216
Ch. 20 Documenting Your Sources p.345
(This chapter included sample student essays.)
p. 319-323, 347-348, in-text citation and attribution (when you attribute a quote to an author)
List of Signal Verbs (said, claimed, argued, etc.) P. 322
Helpful West Guide Chapters for Writing Essay 2 (1st Edition, 2013)
Ch. 6 Fragments p.121
Ch. 10 Prewriting, Brainstorming, etc. p.183
Ch. 11 Writing the Draft p. 191
- Thesis Statements p.191
- Topic Sentences p.197
- Transitions p.201
Ch. 13 Introductions p.223
Ch. 12 Evidence p. 207
Ch. 14 Conclusions p.233
Ch. 22 Documenting Your Sources p.385
Sample Essays, etc.
- 387-391 in-text citation and attribution (when you attribute a quote to an author)
List of Signal Verbs (said, claimed, argued, etc.) P. 161
Ch. 16 Revising and Polishing p. 251
Rubric for self-grading begins on p. 253