I have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. Vs. “The Ballot or the Bullet” by Malcolm X directions

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I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr.


The Ballot or the Bullet” by Malcolm X

Directions: Answer on your own paper. You may go in any order you please. Remember to number as you go, so I can tell which one you are answering.
Answer 2-3. I’m looking at quality over quantity. COMPLETELY FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS.

1. Compare and Contrast

A) Make a Venn Diagram or Double Bubble. Compare and contrast the two speeches.

B) Write a paragraph to summarize the differences between the two.

2. Debate!

Narrate the dialogue between Dr. King and Malcolm X. What would their argument sound like?

“Dr. King, the time for sit-ins is over. It is time to act!” insisted Malcolm X.

Bloodshed is not the answer…”

3. Evaluate

Which speech do you prefer? Pick one and explain why in 4-5 sentences.

Also, write a favorite quote from each article. Why do you like it?

4. You be the teacher!

Write three quiz questions about one or both speeches. They must be upper-level thinking questions! (Hard questions.)

Answer your own questions.

5. Tone of Voice

How was the tone of voice different between the two speeches? Use emotion words to describe the difference. 4-5 sentences.

6. Structure

Paraphrase each answer

A) Find an example of cause and effect logic.

B) Find an example of problem/solution.

C) Find an argument from authority.


1. Things to consider… which one was more confrontational? Did they have the same goal? Which one used humor? Were they both calls to action? Did they both refer to famous events/people?

2. As you narrate the debate, just try to make sure that what you are saying sounds like something they would say. MLK wanted nonviolent protests like boycotts and sit-ins. He spoke emotionally about a better future with white boys and girls joining hands. Malcolm X wanted nothing to do with the white man. In his eyes, if the ballot didn’t work (and soon!) it was time for a revolution.

3. This is a matter of opinion, right? You just need to explain why you liked it. What was it about this speech that grabbed you? What do you think the audience felt as they stood there listening to it?

4. Good questions sound like this:

  • Why do you think… ?

  • Can you predict … ?

  • How would you have… ?

  • What was the point of… ?

  • Do you think … is a good or bad thing? Why?

  • Can you explain why… ?

  • If … were to change, … ?

  • What was the motive behind… ?

  • Can you relate to the part where… ?

  • What would have made the speech more … ?

5. Tone of voice refers to how they said it. Was the speaker hopeful, angry, optimistic, pessimistic, humorous, motivating, threatening, comforting? Did it sound like a sermon? Did it sound like a parent lecturing you? What did it sound like to you? Did it sound like

6. The only one you may not know is “argument from authority.” Did the speaker reference an important person or written work to back up his claims?


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