Martin Luther King

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Grammar Assignment

Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
Three paragraphs from pages 168-169

The topic sentence in the first paragraph, "Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application", states a clear topic. It shows that the following paragraph will discuss the fact that while a law can appear to be just on its face, in its application, it really serves no justice at all. In the second paragraph the writer states that he does not advocate evading or defying the law by using the topic sentence, "In no sense do I advocate defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist." A clear topic is formed in the third paragraph as well. The writer uses the sentence, "Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience." This shows that he will be discussing a bit about the history of civil disobedience.

There is definite unity in these three paragraphs. The first paragraph discusses how a law can be created for the right reasons, but ultimately be used to support injustices. The writer ties the second paragraph to the first by showing a clear need and purpose for breaking these "unjust" laws. The third paragraph gives the reader a glimpse at the history of civil disobedience, and its importance to society.

The coherence of the three paragraphs is clearly shown in the fact that the writer is consistently talking about civil disobedience. Whether talking about personal experience, reasons for taking these actions, or the importance of civil disobedience in history; the writer does not move away from the main topic.

I think that the development of the paragraphs is done in a very fluid manner. The writer starts small using his own experience in regards to civil disobedience, and his thoughts on seemingly just laws. He then gradually introduces new ideas that eventually unfold into the bigger picture of civil disobedience in early society as a whole.

The first paragraph ends by stating how a...
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