1. The first one Martin Luther King, Jr.  “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
August 1963
2. The other reading is “David and Jack Cahn,  “Equality For All:  Freedom is Nonnegotiable”
Source:  When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America. Post Hill Press: New York, 2016.Writing Project 2
: Argument Analysis For Writing Project 2, you have read two texts
related to American attitudes toward equality, freedom, and the role of
citizens in relation to the government. In his “Letter from Birmingham
Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr., argues that freedom is never voluntarily
given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed through
nonviolent direct action against unjust laws. This text might be said to
provide a foundation for contemporary ideas about equality, as
reflected in David and Jack Cahn’s chapter titled “Equality For All:
Freedom is Nonnegotiable” from the book When Millennials Rule: The
Reshaping of America.
Prompt: In your essay for WP2, you will first construct an account of
King’s letter, identifying key elements of his argument, and analyze
rhetorical strategies used to support a key dependent claim in one
portion of his letter. You will then connect Cahn and Cahn using brief
argument analysis to explore the following questions: In what ways
does one portion of Cahn and Cahn’s text illustrate, clarify, extend, or
challenge King’s argument regarding freedom, equality, and the role of
a citizen in relation to the government? In what ways do Cahn and Cahn
present a distinct or unique argument as influenced by personal
experience, cultural values, and the time period in which they wrote?
Where to start: Review Cahn and Cahn to identify key points you might
connect to King. Find a section of King’s letter that relates in some way
to the part of Cahn and Cahn’s argument you want to emphasize.
Analyze King’s strategies and appeals in this section and identify his
audience. Analyze Cahn and Cahn for argument and connection to King.
Remember to use one or more of the following terms to set up this
connection: illustrates, clarifies, extends, and/or challenges.
For your main claim/thesis, think along these lines (without copying this
example): King provides ample appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos for
his argument about a citizen’s duty to demand equality, which is further
extended and illustrated by Cahn and Cahn’s contemporary argument
about equality.
Criteria for Evaluation: Successful papers earning a “C” or higher will:
1. Describe for a reader unfamiliar with these texts the common issues
that connect them. Create a smooth transition to your introduction of
King. (Don’t begin your introduction with “Martin Luther King, Jr.,
2. Provide an accurate and concise introduction to the authors and
arguments. You should place more emphasis on King in your intro, with
just a one- or two-sentence introduction to Cahn and Cahn.
3. End your introduction with a clear main claim that sets up your
4. In one paragraph, introduce King’s letter with a brief summary to
include main claim, purpose, and audience analysis (include textual
evidence to show your own reader who King’s intended audience must
be). A modified rhetorical précis will be useful here.
5. In two substantial paragraphs, analyze one portion of King’s
argument, addressing the following tasks in an appropriate order
: • Clearly identify one dependent (supporting) claim to analyze.
• Analyze rhetorical strategies King uses to support the selected
dependent claim and explain how this support works on the audience
and how it strengthens King’s argument. For each rhetorical strategy,
discuss whether it creates an appeal to ethos, pathos, and/or logos
. 6. In two paragraphs for your discussion of Cahn and Cahn:
• Provide a brief overview of their argument in the “Equality For All”
chapter, including main claim, purpose, and audience (just a few
sentences here). Then focus on a claim from one section of their
argument to provide a substantial discussion of how it illustrates,
clarifies, extends, and/or challenges one aspect of King’s argument
previously analyzed.
• Discuss ways in which Cahn and Cahn’s argument may show a direct
or indirect influence by King’s ideas. In what ways does Cahn and
Cahn’s argument reflect their personal experience, cultural values, and
the time period in which they wrote?
7. Conclude by referring back to your analysis of King and as well as
your insights on Cahn and Cahn. Discuss the significance of both of
these arguments regarding contemporary circumstances. In what
specific ways does your analysis reflect the importance of King’s ideas?
In what specific ways are the ideas in both texts relevant to a complete
understanding of contemporary ideas about equality, freedom, and
8. Support your analysis using examples of strategies and appeals
(direct and indirect quotes) from the text. Always provide direct followup discussion and analysis of every quote to establish its relevance to
your larger point. Avoid unsubstantiated claims, vague references to
the texts, and generic sentences.
9. Cite quotations and paraphrased material using the page number in
parentheses immediately after the quote. Include the author’s name in
the citation only when necessary for clarity (e.g., King 3).
10. Provide a properly formatted Works Cited page to document your
two sources.
11. Maintain unity in your paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on
one main analytical idea that is illustrated with short integrated quotes
from the text. Each quote and example should be followed or preceded
by your analysis and commentary.
12. Use active and rhetorically accurate verbs in reference to the
authors’ arguments.
13. Thoroughly edit the final draft so that sentences are readable and
appropriate for an academic audience (no unnecessary wordiness and
minimal simple sentences).
Length: Minimum 1200 words (around 4 pages)—does not include
heading info or Works Cited.
Format: Follow standard MLA formatting guidelines One-inch margins
Double-space text Use standard 12-point font (e.g., Times, Palatino,
Arial) Your Name, Instructor’s Name, Course and section #, Date, and
Word Count double-spaced at top left of first page Center title on first
page (no separate cover page) Paginate with your last name and page
number in top right margin of page (e.g., Smith 1)

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