Archive for August 23rd, 2011

Figure 83: Sample Passage from Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Analysis Exercise)

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Squaring Your Analysis” into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Figure 83: Sample Passage from Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Analysis Exercise)

“While the man came through the picket gate Elisa ran excitedly along the geranium-bordered path to the back of the house.  And she returned carrying a big red flower pot.  The gloves were forgotten now.  She kneeled on the ground by the starting bed and dug up the sandy soil with her fingers and scooped it into the bright new flower pot.  Then she picked up the little pile of shoots she had prepared.  With her strong fingers she pressed them in the sand and tamped around them with her knuckles.  The man stood over her.  ‘I’ll tell you what to do,’ she said.  ‘You remember so you can tell the lady.’”

Group Activity

Figure 83 represents the source text. It is an excerpt from Steinbeck’s work.

1) As a group, compare Figure 82 and Figure 83. I have included the excerpt below for easy access.

Figure 82: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Analysis Exercise)

Elisa, inadvertently, let the visitor through the picket gate.  She ran to her flower bed gathering the necessary seeds for the pretend woman down the road.  She gives the visitor a complete description of how to plant the seeds and the daily activity that goes along with it.  After he tells Elisa that it’s not nice to see the stars and listen to the quiet without dinner, ashamed, she is forced to find something for the visitor to do.  The visitor’s manner changes and he becomes professional when Elisa brings him two old aluminum saucepans; “Good as new I can fix them. . . . His mouth grew sure and knowing” (Steinbeck 225).

2) Identify where the student’s summary or analysis is similar to the ideas expressed within the source text.

3) Identify where the student’s summary or analysis is different from the ideas expressed within the source text.

4) Based upon your evaluation, as a group critique the student’s essay.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Figure 82: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Analysis Exercise)

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Squaring Your Analysis” into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Figure 82: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Analysis Exercise)

Elisa, inadvertently, let the visitor through the picket gate.  She ran to her flower bed gathering the necessary seeds for the pretend woman down the road.  She gives the visitor a complete description of how to plant the seeds and the daily activity that goes along with it.  After he tells Elisa that it’s not nice to see the stars and listen to the quiet without dinner, ashamed, she is forced to find something for the visitor to do.  The visitor’s manner changes and he becomes professional when Elisa brings him two old aluminum saucepans; “Good as new I can fix them. . . . His mouth grew sure and knowing” (Steinbeck 225).

The keyword in this paragraph is “inadvertently.” The word “inadvertently” means in a careless manner; without intending to or realizing; not focusing the mind on the matter. I have highlighted the word by adding shading. If you are working from a hardcopy, use an actual highlighter on the text.

Group Activity

1) Refer to Steinbeck’s short story.

2) Consider Table 20:

Table 20: Assessment of Student Essay Body Paragraph Sentences (“Chrysanthemums”)

 Questions Student Essay Body Paragraph Sentences
 

Is Elisa doing this in a careless manner, without intending to?

 

Elisa, inadvertently, let the visitor through the picket gate.

 

Is Elisa doing this in a careless manner, without intending to?

 

She ran to her flower bed gathering the necessary seeds for the pretend woman down the road.

 

Is Elisa doing this in a careless manner, without intending to?

 

She gives the visitor a complete description of how to plant the seeds and the daily activity that goes along with it.

3) Rewrite the student’s analysis, removing “inadvertently” and applying an appropriate word that best reflects the ideas within the paragraph.

4) Include additional supporting evidence when necessary.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Squaring Your Analysis

The second part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process is “Squaring Your Analysis.” This squaring process is different from the previous process where you have to square the author’s argument within your analysis.

It is much easier to annotate the author’s text and identify the inconsistencies. However, it is much more difficult to examine your own writing, to examine your inconsistencies.

Today, as a teacher, I am better able to identify my own gaps, errors, inconsistencies, misrepresentations, and unvalidated assumptions, but I couldn’t as a student. Therefore, I will teach you how to recognize those places in your analysis where your ideas lack balance.

You have written your paper. You already know how to present both sides of a topic and how to square the author’s square. Now you must examine your paper for both balance and wording.

Before getting into the discussion, let’s bring forward a section from the student’s essay on Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums.”

Figure 82: Essay Excerpt on “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Analysis Exercise)

Elisa, inadvertently, let the visitor through the picket gate.  She ran to her flower bed gathering the necessary seeds for the pretend woman down the road.  She gives the visitor a complete description of how to plant the seeds and the daily activity that goes along with it.  After he tells Elisa that it’s not nice to see the stars and listen to the quiet without dinner, ashamed, she is forced to find something for the visitor to do.  The visitor’s manner changes and he becomes professional when Elisa brings him two old aluminum saucepans; “Good as new I can fix them. . . . His mouth grew sure and knowing” (Steinbeck 225).

The keyword in this paragraph is “inadvertently.”

The word “inadvertently” means in a careless manner; without intending to or realizing; not focusing the mind on the matter. I have highlighted the word by adding shading. If you are working from a hardcopy, use an actual highlighter on the text. Consider the following steps as you revise portions of your essays.

Step #1: Highlight. Highlight the keyword in the paragraph.

Step #2: Consult the dictionary. Don’t rely on your guess of what you think the word means. Get the exact definition of the word. The definition above comes directly from the dictionary, not from personal memory or interpretation.

Step #3: Test. Test the word against your summary, explanation, quote, or evaluation.  Test the word line-by-line. You may create a table or a handwritten outline. Continue to ask this question: Does Elisa inadvertently do this or that? Examine Table 20.

Table 20: Assessment of Student Essay Body Paragraph Sentences (“Chrysanthemums”) 

Questions  Student Essay Body Paragraph Sentences
Is Elisa doing this in a careless manner, without intending to? Elisa, inadvertently, let the visitor through the picket gate.
Is Elisa doing this in a careless manner, without intending to? She ran to her flower bed gathering the necessary seeds for the pretend woman down the road.
Is Elisa doing this in a careless manner, without intending to? She gives the visitor a complete description of how to plant the seeds and the daily activity that goes along with it.

Step #4: Locate. Locate the source of your summary or analysis. Go back to the main source, the immediate text itself. Highlight the text on your hardcopy. For this exercise, I will type the text so you can visualize Elisa’s personality.

Figure 83: Sample Passage from Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums” (Squaring Your Analysis Exercise)

“While the man came through the picket gate Elisa ran excitedly along the geranium-bordered path to the back of the house.  And she returned carrying a big red flower pot.  The gloves were forgotten now.  She kneeled on the ground by the starting bed and dug up the sandy soil with her fingers and scooped it into the bright new flower pot.  Then she picked up the little pile of shoots she had prepared.  With her strong fingers she pressed them in the sand and tamped around them with her knuckles.  The man stood over her.  ‘I’ll tell you what to do,’ she said.  ‘You remember so you can tell the lady.’”

Step #5: Compare. Compare your essay with the source text.

  • Identify where your summary or analysis is similar to the ideas expressed within the source text.
  • Identify where your summary or analysis is different from the ideas expressed within the source text.
  • Remember that the source text is the primary authority, not your analysis.

Step #6: Square. You have various options. Each paper is different.

  • Revise and change the keyword so that it squares with the rest of the paragraph.  We have to assume that the content within the rest of the paragraph squares with the source text.
  • You may choose to change your summary or explanation or evaluation or other type of analysis so that it squares with the keyword. We have to assume here also that the content within the rest of the paragraph squares with the source text.
  • You may change your keyword so that it squares with the source text.
  • You may change your summary so that it squares with the source text.
  • You may change your keyword and summary so that they both square with the source text.

Step #6: Retest. You have various options. Each paper is different.

Retesting the Keyword: Once you have changed the keyword so that it squares with the rest of the paragraph, test the keyword against the paragraph. Make sure that if a keyword has parts that the rest of the ideas expressed within the paragraph match the meaning of the keyword.

Retesting the Summary/Analysis: Once you have changed the summary, explanation, evaluation, or other type of analysis, test the revised summary, explanation, evaluation, or other type of analysis against the keyword. Make sure that your revised summary, explanation, evaluation, or other type of analysis matches the keyword you have already.

  • Special Note: Remember that in this instance you have not changed the keyword; it is assumed that the keyword is fine, but that the analysis doesn’t support the keyword. Think about the student essay and how the student uses “inadvertently.” The ideas expressed within the rest of the paragraph do not match this word. The student would have to either change the keyword or change the analysis. In other words, look for areas within the narrative where Elisa inadvertently does something.

Retesting the Keyword Relationship with the Source Text: If you use a keyword that doesn’t apply to any of the ideas expressed within the source text, then you must change the keyword. Once you have researched another word, examine the meaning of the new word. Determine how many parts the new word has (i.e., different meanings). Once you are satisfied and have changed the word in your analysis, test the meaning of the new word against the main theme of the text. Locate an example to test that you think would best fit the keyword. The example could be a quote, a summary, or analysis. Make sure that the word fits.  Don’t try to make it fit.

Retesting the Summary: How you perceive the text is important to the reader.  Whatever you believe, the reader will believe. The same idea is true for what you don’t believe. Therefore, it is important to retest your summary. Locate the source of your summary. Reread the source for understanding. Once you have changed your summary, retest it against the source text.

  • Check to make sure that you have the right verb tenses in your summary.
  • Check to make sure that you have the right character or characters.
  • Check to make sure that you can validate the assumptions you make.
  • Check to make sure that you have the right context, time period, etc.
  • Think like a journalist. Don’t create a lie.

Retesting the Keyword and the Summary: In the case where both the keyword and the summary do not accurately convey the ideas expressed within the source text, throw both of them out. Start over. Rewrite. Once you have rewritten this portion of your essay, do the following:

  • Retest the keyword against the source text to make sure that you have the right meaning in mind.
  • Retest the summary against the source text to make sure that you have the right meaning in mind.
  • Make sure your new keyword matches your summary, in all parts.
  • Make sure your summary matches your keyword, in all parts.

Click here for “Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Table 19: King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form (continued)

Below is a table that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Squaring the Author’s Text Within Your Analysis” into the search box. King’s work is subject to U.S. copyright law and is displayed here for educational purposes.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Table 19:  King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form (continued)

 Just Law  Unjust Law
“An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself.”
“This is difference made legal.”
“By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself.” “This is sameness made legal.”
“A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.”
“Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected?”
“Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered.”
“Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?”
“Sometimes a law is just on its face . . .” “ . . . and unjust in its application.”
“For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit.”
“Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade.” “But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.”

Homework Activity

Table 19 highlights gaps that exist within King’s discussion.

Using Table 18: King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form, you developed an analysis by first constructing sentences on each row that best reflect King’s ideas and goals for the work. You also proposed a structure for the analysis by grouping sentences similar in meaning together. Last, you created and developed an analysis by adding topic sentences and supporting evidence.

For Table 19, you will insert historical context and critical views.

1) Evaluate the paragraphs you created during group activity.

2) Determine the primary purpose of each paragraph.

3) Research historical information. King wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail” on April 16, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama.

  • Therefore, research the year “1963.”
  • Research all of the events leading up to April 16th and after this date.
  • Research the literary criticism. What were the schools of thought? What did scholars have to say about King’s letter?
  • Research governing statutes of Alabama and local laws of Birmingham.
  • Place the information into categories to prepare sections of your analysis.

4) Evaluate Table 19 again. Determine if you can place some of the researched information into one or more of the boxes within the table. Reevaluate your analysis structure.

5) Insert quotes from King’s letter, historical context, literary criticism, and statute information within the appropriate sections of your analysis.

6) Revise the analysis you wrote for Table 18. Revise topic sentences. Revise quotes used for supporting evidence. Revise follow-up explanations, evaluations, and last-sentence transition statements. You may use one of the Analysis Methods as a guide.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Table 18: King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form

Below is a table that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Squaring the Author’s Text Within Your Analysis” into the search box. King’s work falls under U.S. copyright law and is displayed here for educational purposes.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Table 18:  King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form

 Just Law  Unjust Law
“A just law is a manmade code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.” “An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
“To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas:  An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
“Any law that uplifts human personality is just.” “Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”
“All segregation statues are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.”
“It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.”
“Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things.”
“Hence segregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful.”
“Paul Tillich” has said that sin is separation.Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?”
“ . . . and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.” “Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; . . .”

Group Activity

As you can see there are gaps within King’s discussion. On the one hand, King provides a simple view of “just laws.” On the other hand, his view of “just laws” does not equally parallel his discussion of “unjust laws.”

As a group, develop an analysis:

1) First, construct a sentence that best reflects the ideas of each row. For example, in the second row, King offers “St. Thomas Aquinas” as an example. For your box under “just law,” offer an example.

2) Second, propose a structure for your analysis. Group sentences that are similar in meaning together. Determine if there is a common denominator between each row and use it as a guide for structuring your paragraphs. King’s discussion on “segregation” appears to be the common denominator.

3) Third, create and develop an analysis. Add a topic sentence. Insert quotes from the text as supporting evidence for your analysis. Only use the sentences of Table 18 as supporting evidence. Follow up quotes with both an explanation and evaluation. Develop a transition statement as the last sentence. You may use one of the Analysis Methods as a guide.

Click here for “Table 19: King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form (continued).”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Table 17: Comparison of Just and Unjust Law References in King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Below is a table that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Squaring the Author’s Text Within Your Analysis” into the search box.

You may print the table for class discussions.

Table 17: Comparison of Just and Unjust Law References in King’s Letter

 Just Law  Unjust Law
Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.

Group Activity

These two rows represent a balanced discussion. Therefore, since the author squares the ideas, you should also do the same.

1) Locate additional sentences where King discusses “just laws” and “unjust laws.”

2) As a group, construct a table similar to Table 17. Place the sentences under their respective columns.

3) Evaluate the sentences in light of the context King provides.

4) Develop a one-paragraph analysis based upon your discussion of King’s work.

Click here for “Table 18: King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Squaring the Author’s Text Within Your Analysis

The first part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process involves squaring the author’s text within your analysis. Consider the following steps as you revise your own analysis.

Step #1: Analyze. Analyze the text. Study it. Determine two things.

  • Determine if the content within the whole paragraph maintains the topic.
  • Determine if the body paragraph sentences support the topic sentence.
  • Locate the topic sentence. (King’s topic sentence states, “Now, what is the difference between the two?”)
  • Locate the supporting evidence. (King defines what a “just law” is and what an “unjust law” is.)

Step #2: Annotate.  Annotate the text by underlining and numbering. For example, do the following:

  • Apply a number one to all those sentences that King defines as a just law.
  • Apply a number two to all those sentences that King defines as an unjust law.

Step #3: Table. Arrange the information in table or graph form. Type or write all of the sentences that define “just law” and all the sentences that define “unjust law” into a table or on a piece of paper. Tables 18 and 19 represent examples.

Step #4: Perform a Gap Analysis. Study the gaps in the author’s evaluation. Remember that after King’s definition of the terms, he evaluates the relationship of the defined terms to the examples of segregation. Therefore, study the inconsistency within his evaluation.

  • Study the structure of the excerpt. Identify the breaks (the gaps).
  • Identify the missing parts. What are they?
  • Study the common denominator between each side.

Step #5: Square. Within your analysis, square the author’s argument by filling in the gaps. For example, in the case of King’s discussion of just law and unjust law, inform the reader that the author, in this case King, does not present a balanced discussion. In contrast to segregation statutes, King does not provide an example of “just laws” on the same ground. Examine the quote:

  • “All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.”
  • Where is the counterpart? King doesn’t provide a counterpart that discusses just (law) statutes. As you square the discussion, you must become the counterpart. Otherwise, your discussion will appear to have gaps also. 

Squaring Sub-Steps

Become the counterpart. If the author doesn’t provide a counterpart, then you fill in this gap within your analysis. Inform the reader of the author’s inconsistency.

  • A simple statement such as this will suffice: Although the author provides a lengthy discussion of “unjust laws,” adding examples also, he does not provide the same level discussion of “just laws.”
  • Then evaluate the significance of this gap. Why is it important to you, as the reader, to have a balanced discussion?

Square the author’s square. Consider the following examples from King’s excerpt.

Table 17: Comparison of Just and Unjust Law References in King’s Letter

 Just Law  Unjust Law
Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.

These two columns represent a brief example of a balanced discussion. Therefore, since the author squares the ideas, you should also do the same. For the second column, the base of King’s discussion centers on “human personality,” which is the common denominator between both columns.

In one column, a just law “uplifts”; in the second column, an unjust law degrades. In your analysis, present both sides of the topic. In other words, do exactly what the author does. Square the author’s square.

It is easy to develop an analysis from this one row. You can clearly see that King offers definitions for both types of laws. The question that we have to ask is this: Does King balance his discussion from beginning to end? It is one thing to offer both sides of the topic, but it is quite another to endure the goal.

To determine if King presents a balanced view within his letter, we have placed all of his definitions for both “just laws” and “unjust laws” within two tables. Table 18 begins our discussion. Read the sentences. Refer to Figure 81 for a full view of King’s excerpt. King’s work falls under U.S. copyright law is it displayed here for educational purposes.

Table 18:  King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form

 Just Law  Unjust Law
“A just law is a manmade code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.” “An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
“To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas:  An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
“Any law that uplifts human personality is just.” “Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”
“All segregation statues are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.”
“It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.”
“Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things.”
“Hence segregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful.”
“Paul Tillich” has said that sin is separation.Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?”
“ . . . and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.” “Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; . . .”

As you can see there are gaps within King’s discussion. On the one hand, King provides a simple view of “just laws.” On the other hand, his view of “just laws” does not equally parallel his discussion of “unjust laws.”

Table 19 provides an extended view  of Table 18. Let’s continue evaluating King’s discussion.

Table 19:  King’s Discussion of Just Law and Unjust Law in Table Form (continued)

 Just Law
Unjust Law
“An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself.”
“This is difference made legal.”
“By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself.” “This is sameness made legal.”
“A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.”
“Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected?”
“Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered.”
“Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?”
“Sometimes a law is just on its face . . .” “ . . . and unjust in its application.”
“For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit.”
“Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade.” “But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.”

Table 19 mirrors Table 18. With this in mind, when the author doesn’t provide a balanced view of the topic, then developing an analysis becomes equally difficult. For example, it is difficult to present a balanced view of King’s work if he, in fact, doesn’t do what he is claiming.

Therefore, when confronted with this issue, use the author’s work as an opportunity to highlight the gaps that clearly exist within the text. Present what he presents. In other words, if King minimally discusses “just laws,” then highlight this fact within your analysis. As one method, you could count the number of sentences and examples he uses to prove his case for both types of laws.

In addition, as another method, you could bring in historical evidence. For example, within the context of the letter there was social injustice toward a particular minority group and “unjust laws” that perpetuated the cause of racial intolerance. To fill in some of the gaps within each table, locate the statutes and public policy for both types of laws. Use the information as additional evidence to maintain the integrity of King’s work. This will allow you to balance King’s views within your analysis.

Now that you have learned how to square the author’s text within your analysis, you must learn also how to square your own analysis, which is the second part of The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process. We return to the student’s essay on “Chrysanthemums” to evaluate phrasing. Our objective is to determine if the student presents a balanced view based upon the types of wording she uses within her analysis. Follow the link below to access the discussion.

Click here for “Squaring Your Analysis.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Figure 81: Sample Excerpt from “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Task #4: Level” within the search box. King’s work is subject to U.S. copyright law and is displayed here for educational purposes.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Figure 81: Sample Excerpt from “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

       Now, what is the difference between the two?  How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust?  1 A just law is a manmade code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.  2An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.2 To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas:  An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. 

1Any law that uplifts human personality is just.2 Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.  2 All segregation statues are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.  2It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.2 Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. 

2 Hence segregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful.  2 Paul Tillich” has said that sin is separation. 2 Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?  1 Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; 2and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws.  2 An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself.  2 This is difference made legal.  1 By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. 1 This is sameness made legal.

Let me give another explanation.  2A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law.2 Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected?  2 Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. 2 Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is 1 just on its face and 2 unjust in its application.  1 For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit.  1 Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade.  2 But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

Within the excerpt, we have placed a #1 by all sentences where King discusses “just laws.” We have placed a #2 by all sentences where King discusses “unjust laws.” The purpose of this exercise is to determine if King presents a balanced view of both types of laws within the context of his letter. King appears to present both sides of what an unjust law means and what a just law means. Although he presents two sides, is King’s presentation balanced? The keyword in King’s text is “squares.”

Group Activity

1) On a separate sheet of paper, draw two columns.

2) Write all of the sentences under #1 within the left-side column. Write all of the sentences under #2 within the right-side column.

3) Compare, evaluate, and discuss the sentences.

4) Develop a one-paragraph analysis on both “just laws” and “unjust laws.” Maintain the integrity of the letter by including only context-specific information.

Click here for “The Favors Step-by-Step Squaring Process.”

To view the full version of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” click here.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

The FAVORS Step-by-Step Squaring Process

To correct problems with balance within your analysis, follow the links below to guide you through the revision process.

This process falls under Task #4: Level. See the “Analysis Revision Tasks” category for more information. You may also click the link.

This is a three-part process. Click any one of the links below to access tools and solutions.

This squaring process is three-part:

Squaring the Author’s Text Within Your Analysis

Squaring Your Analysis

Squaring Your Introduction and Conclusion

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Task #4: Level

Level

“Level” falls under the Analysis Acronym (Revision) category.

Balance viewpoints. Match the cause to the effect. Present the pro and the con. Don’t ever present one side of a topic or an essay. When you compare or contrast, you need two things, two ideas, and/or two people at a minimum to compare. When you compare or contrast, make sure that your presentation is equal on all sides. Don’t present an unbalance where one side is more developed than the other.

Before addressing some issues with balance within the student essay on Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums,” let’s first examine a section within Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Our purpose here is to determine if King presents a balanced view of the topic.

Figure 81: Sample Excerpt from “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

       Now, what is the difference between the two?  How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust?  1 A just law is a manmade code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.  2An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.2 To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas:  An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.  1Any law that uplifts human personality is just.2 Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.  2 All segregation statues are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality.  2It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority.2Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I-it” relationship for an “I-thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things.

2 Hence segregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful.  2 Paul Tillich” has said that sin is separation.  2 Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?  1 Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; 2and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws.  2 An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself.  2 This is difference made legal.  1 By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. 1 This is samenessmade legal.

Let me give another explanation.  2 A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. 2 Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state’s segregation laws was democratically elected?  2 Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. 2Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

Sometimes a law is 1 just on its face and 2 unjust in its application.  1 For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit.  1 Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade.  2 But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

Within the excerpt, we have placed a #1 by all sentences where King discusses “just laws.” We have placed a #2 by all sentences where King discusses “unjust laws.” The purpose of this exercise is to determine if King presents a balanced view of both types of laws within the context of his letter. King appears to present both sides of what an unjust law means and what a just law means. However, is King’s presentation balanced? The keyword in King’s text is “squares.” Therefore, let’s determine if King “squares” his views.

Click here for “The Favors Step-by-Step Squaring Process.”

To view a full version of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” click here.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment