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ENGL124 Cuyamaca Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King

This is a module designed to teach you to choose sources to enhance your arguments. Too often, students choose sources carelessly, which weakens their credibility and argument.

To that end, choose one source (a writer of one of the sample essays, or a source they cite) to investigate. I suggest choosing one who is fairly prolific (writes or is cited a lot) because you will have much more to write about.


The two most valuable pieces of information I can give you are the prompt, which you can download here, and a student sample paper, which you can find here. Please read the prompt in it’s entirety, but the short version is that you should 1) look at what the person is qualified to speak to, 2) if that matches what they publicly comment on, 3) who their best audience might be based on their topic and writing style, 4) and if there are any things about their personal life that might them a particularly good or bad source.

I know, for instance, that several of you did a little research on Charles Murray, as I asked, but I don’t believe anybody really clearly brought up the notion that he’d been credibly accused of holding & advocating ideas which are subtlety (but still actually) racist, and that geneticists reject the part of his argument that includes their expertise and educators also deeply disagree with his idea that people are unchanging, and can never grow or mature. For me, these issues ruin his credibility to speak on these matters.

This is a researched argument and must include sources.