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This resource includes the annotated text of Malcolm X's famous "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech. Using the comment feature in Microsoft Word, this resource includes critical commentary and analysis of the figurative and connotative meanings, rhetorical devices (logos, ethos, pathos), parallelism, allusions, themes aligned with the RI1, RI2, RI4, RI6, and RI8 standards from the Common Core State Standards. In addition to the identified figurative language, rhetorical devices, etc., the document includes standard alignment for each comment and marginal notes that explain the significance of each identified element. This resource will help teachers to guide students’ close reading of the text and help them to become more critical readers of informational texts. The provided commentary includes Common Core standard references so that you will be able to help students to see how the guided statements and commentary align with specific reading informational standards. The resource also includes a blank copy of the speech so that you can help students learn to annotate the text using your own annotation strategies.