Write a 3-4 page double-spaced (links to an external site.)links to


Write a 3-4 page double-spaced (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. essay that answers this question:

Do American citizens have an obligation to be politically active in times of injustice?


If your answer is yes:

  • Use        quotes and paraphrases from Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”        to support your thesis.
  • You        can also use any other sources you like.
  • Make        sure to cite them on your Works Cited page.


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.   King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” if only to disagree with it or respond   to it.


If you’re not sure and you want to customize the topic a   bit, send me a message to get approval.

(Don’t wait until the night before it is due…I might be   asleep!)

For example, if you have a home country other than the   USA. You might want to compare your country’s policy on political activism to   the USA’s. That’s fine; you don’t need to ask permission for that.

Or maybe you want to turn the topic into a yes/no answer,   like, “In some ways Americans are obligated to confront injustice, and in   other ways they aren’t.” That’s fine and you don’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. King’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

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  1. 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.
  2. 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: King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Still have one; it’s good practice. Many people will have more than just this source.