Composition Reading Bank: Politics

An Open Educational Resource for Composition Courses

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Ajayi, Luvvie. "Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable" [TED Talk]  infoAjayi encourages people to be brave, to be active citizens. (First-Person Perspective; Memoir; Persuasive; TedTalk)

"The Declaration of Independence"  infoMembers of congress declared the independence of the American colonies on July 4, 1776 and delineated their reasons for the declaration. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Declaration)

A Group of Clergymen. "Letter to Martin Luther King"  infoEight Birmingham religious leaders wrote this letter to Martin Luther King, Jr. criticizing his work in the civil rights movement. Dr. King's response is the "Letter from Birmingham Jail.” (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Letter)

Hitt, Matthew P. "When Newspapers Close, Voters Become More Partisan"  infoHitt analyzes of the role of newspapers in politics and summarizes a longer study by a political scientist and a communications scholar. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Exploratory)

Kennedy, John F. "Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association" [Video and Transcript]  infoSpeaking to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association during his 1960 presidential campaign, Kennedy discusses the separation of church and state. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Speech)

Kennedy, John F. "Inaugural Address"  infoKennedy delivered this speech at his 1961 inauguration, and it contains the famous line "...ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country." (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Speech)

Lincoln, Abraham. "Second Inaugural Address"  infoLincoln uses quotes from the Bible to find solace and healing after the Civil War in this speech delivered as he took office for a second term as president. (Third-Person Perspective; Speech)

Machiavelli, Niccolo. "The Morals of the Prince"  infoMachiavelli writes about how leaders should rule, covering multiple themes. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Expository)

Pilardi, Jo-Ann. "Immigration Problem is About Us, Not Them"  infoPilardi attempts to shift America's focus from the belief that illegal immigrants are taking our jobs to the employer demand for cheap labor. The author calls for readers to look at those who illegally employ the immigrants and to think about the overall changes America can make to improve both employment and immigration policy. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Argument)

Snyder, Timothy. "It Can Happen Here"  infoSnyder discusses the controversy created when the United States Holocaust Museum criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for comparing immigrant detention centers to concentration camps. Snyder argues that, in doing so, the museum undermined the “never again” slogan associated with the Holocaust and provided “moral cover” for the oppression of American immigration policies.  Snyder uses the occasion to stress the importance of analogy in social criticism and, more generally, in how we think. (Persuasive; Third-Person Perspective)

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions" from 1848 Woman's Rights Convention  infoStanton uses the argument and style of the Declaration of Independence to present a declaration of women's rights. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Declaration)

Swift, Jonathan. "A Modest Proposal"  infoIn this political satire from 1729, Swift proposes a solution for poverty in Ireland. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Satire)

Thoreau, Henry David. "The Battle of the Ants"  infoThoreau narrates a battle between ants that he observes by his wood-pile. (First- and Third-Person Perspective; Memoir; Narration; Description; Philosophical Meditation)


Except where otherwise indicated, the Composition Reading Bank by Rachel Brooks-Pannell, Shawn Casey, Rebecca Fleming, and Nick Lakostik at Columbus State Community College is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This license does not extend to the contents of external web pages.


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