Instructions How to Write

MLK Birmingham Letter

Re-Read carefully the speech/ argumentative essay "A Letter from a Birmingham Jail (Links to an external site.), (Links to an external site.)" by Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the first paragraph, identify and briefly explain the main cause or causes of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s leadership of "direct action" activities.
Do this by identifying each of the 4-causes (material, formal, agent, and final) of the activity.
Include in your answer which one of the 4-causes is most important in explaining the activities (i.e. in explaining why the activities occurred).
In the second paragraph, identify and explain the author's definition of two key terms or phrases in the argument. [Suggested terms: justice; just law; direct action]
Include in your answer what kind of definitions the author gives of the terms. [Sometimes the author gives more than one definition of a term using different kinds of definitions.]
Identify and explain which of the 10-categories of being the terms or phrases in the definition fall under.
Identify and explain which of the 5-predicables the terms or phrases in the definition are.
In the third paragraph, identify and explain a use of division by the author.
In the fourth paragraph, answer the prompt: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s written words defining justice are signs of his concept of justice. His concept of justice is a sign justice itself and the justice or injustice of a person, law, or activity. What kinds of signs are (a) his words defining justice and (b) his concept of justice? Natural or conventional? Instrumental or formal? Explain your answer.
In the fifth paragraph, identify and briefly explain (a) a fallacy of ambiguity that the speaker commits in the speech, or (b) a fallacy of ambiguity that the speaker criticizes others for committing. If you do not think that there are any fallacies or accusations of fallacies in the speech, then you should (c) explain why someone might mistakenly think that there is a fallacy of ambiguity in the speech.

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