1. Examine the Literal Before you think deeper make sure you know the literal meaning of the words Look up words you don’t know or are unsure of
2. Dig Deeper into the Language Study the words, phrases and sentences of the text What words did the author emphasize? What words did the author choose to repeat? What patterns emerge? What irregularities pop out? What seems memorable, emotional, out of the ordinary?
3. Use Your Observations to Ask Questions After observing what stands out in step 2 ask the question “why”? Why do these patterns exist? Why are there irregularities? Why is this memorable, emotional, or out of the ordinary?
Question the Author What is the author trying to tell you? Why is the author telling you that? Does the author say it clearly? How could the author have said things more clearly? What would you say instead?
4. Write Possible Answers Consider possible answers to step 3 questions. Use context knowledge from the surrounding text to gather answers. If context doesn’t help, define allusions, unfamiliar words, or cryptic statements Brainstorm as many possible answers you can
Rule Out Weak Answers Look at your answers and rule out any that seem more inductive rather than deductive. deductive reasoning - moves from general to specific to form a conclusion Inductive reasoning – moves from specific to general and supports rather than proves a conclusion Keep only possible answers that seem to have a relation to the text and make sense of the events and patterns
6. Expand Upon the Possible Pick the best of your answers and expand upon your thinking Step 4 asks you to brainstorm answers Step 6 asks you to explain your answers in full detail
A Little Rebellion Now and Then is a Good Thing A letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison concerning Shay’s Rebellion
Societies exist under three forms, sufficiently distinguishable: (1)without government, as among our Indians; (2) under governments, wherein the will of everyone has a just influence, as is the case in England, in a slight degree, and in our states, in a great one; (3) under governments of force, as is the case in all other monarchies, and in most of the other republics.
To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the first condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population.
The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has its evils, too, the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem (I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery). Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs.
I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them.
An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.