Analyze a Ted talk
TED Talks: As a class, we will be using Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story” as our example for this assignment. We will all practice analyzing her speech together. For your personal paper, however, you should choose one of the following TED Talks and compose your own analysis of it: Susan David, “The gift and power of emotional courage” https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_david_the_gift_and_power_of_emotional_courage?referrer=playlist-the_most_popular_ted_talks_of_2018
TED is a nonprofit organization founded under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”, which they do in the form of powerful talks given on topics that range from science to business to art. For this assignment, you will choose one of the TED talks listed below and analyze the persuasive message that was delivered in speech form. You will analyze the purpose of the speech, the context of the speech, the claims in the speech, the audience for the original delivery of the speech, and the rhetorical appeals used in the speech. Finally, you will evaluate whether the message is effective in achieving the speaker’s purpose.
Essentially, you goal is to answer these questions – what is the speaker trying to accomplish with this speech, how are they doing that, and are they ultimately effective?
1. Consider the Rhetorical Situation: Read/view the speech several times over the course of different times/days, paying special attention to not only what the speaker is saying, but perhaps more importantly, how they present their ideas. A good way to begin is to write out on a separate piece of paper what you think the text’s purpose is, including: the thesis, the audience, the context in which the text was written, the tone, and the genre of the text. Think about the rhetorical situation (issues of purpose, audience, context, stance, etc.) in terms of the author’s choices. While you will need to address all elements, you will probably not focus on all of them equally (you will go into greater depth for those that are most relevant to your speech, and less in-depth for those which are not as relevant). This may seem like a lot of material to cover, but we will spend time in class talking about how best to arrange it.
2. Consider the Rhetorical Appeals: You should address all three elements of rhetorical appeals (Ethos, Logos, and Pathos). How does (or does not) the author utilize one (or all) of these three approaches? Note: texts typically utilize elements of all three, but they may not utilize them all equally.
3. Develop A Clear Thesis Statement: This is perhaps the most critical step in the writing process. You must ask yourself, “What is my purpose for writing this analysis?” Based upon your answer, you should be able to come up with a strong (unique) thesis statement. A thesis statement should reflect what you do in your analysis (i.e. a thesis statement is a roadmap for the rest of your analysis). Do not simply restate the author’s original thesis (remember the elements of the rhetorical situation — your purpose is different than the original author’s). In addition to stating your stance, your thesis should provide the reader with a clear direction of where you’re heading (e.g. what’s your topic/issue? what are your units of analysis?, what conclusion do you come to?, and/or what is the significance of your work?). We will take a class period to workshop thesis statements together.
4. Support Your Thesis Statement: The body of your analysis should be devoted to supporting evidence for your thesis statement. This will entail techniques of direct quotation/ paraphrasing of the source material, and your own assessment. You will go beyond summarizing what the author has already stated (this is your analysis). There is an important, but subtle, shift in focus from your thesis to your supporting evidence; your thesis states what you will do, but your supporting evidence reflects what (or why) the original author is doing it. This can be tricky, and causes some students difficulty, but we will cover this in class. Additionally, your paragraphs should each, subsequently, address the various rhetorical elements and the aspects of the rhetorical situation of the original text. Be sure each paragraph directly addresses your thesis statement. For each point you want to make in your analysis, you will want to give examples to support your claims. Using examples to support your claims will help your reader understand why you are making the claim you are making. For example, if you find a place in the text where the author is using pathos to appeal to the reader’s emotions, you should quote the place in the text where this appeal takes place.
5. State Your Conclusion: The purpose of your conclusion is to clearly, but briefly, reiterate what you were hoping to accomplish in your essay. In other words, it should reflect (mirror) your thesis. Note: It should not simply be a restatement of your thesis. It is designed to have the reader (re)contemplate on the thesis, in light of the evidence you provided in the body of the text, and understand the significance of your analysis.
Research: With the exception of the Works Cited page (in which you will include your chosen TED Talk citation information), no formal research is required for this assignment. However, for several of the rhetorical elements, you may have to go outside of the original speech to find the appropriate information (e.g. you may need to do a little research to find the author’s personal information or professional experience, what was happening, in the world, at the time the essay was written, etc.), if these things are relevant. If you find that you do want to research information to aid your analysis (background information about your author, or more information to place the context of the speech, for example), you will need to cite that information appropriately both in-text and on the Works Cited page. All analysis work, however, should be your own.
• Length: 4-5 pages (4 full pages minimum)
• Format: MLA format, including:
o A header with your name, my name, the course number, & date
o Page numbers
o Double-spaced Times New Roman 12pt font
o An interesting title
o A Works Cited page (not included in page count)
Writing Project I: TED Talk Analysis
Effectively presents a TED Talk, establishes its context, & clearly analyzes it based on the rhetorical situation & appeals that are well-supported by evidence from the Talk &/or relevant outside sources. Establishes credible ethos as being informed, trustworthy, & knowledgeable.
Clearly presents a TED Talk with its context & analyzes it based on the rhetorical situation & appeals that are supported by evidence from the Talk &/or relevant outside sources. Establishes credible ethos as being trustworthy & knowledgeable.
Presents a TED Talk, attempts to establish context & analyzes it based on the rhetorical situation & appeals that are somewhat supported by Talk &/or outside sources; attempts to establish credible & trustworthy ethos.
Presents a TED Talk but doesn’t establish a clear context &/ or analyze it based on the rhetorical situation & appeals; supporting details may be lacking or sources may be unrelated to the Talk. Ethos may not be trustworthy.
Chosen TED Talk is unclear or unapproved with limited/ no context presented; points of analysis may be unclear/ nonexistent with limited/ no supporting details from the Talk or relevant outside sources. Ethos isn’t trustworthy.
– Evaluation of Purpose/ Message
Clearly evaluates the Talk using specific points of analysis to create a strong, compelling argument concerning its effectiveness based on sound evidence & reasons.
Evaluates the Talk using specific points of analysis to create a strong argument concerning effectiveness based on evidence & reasons.
Attempts to evaluate the Talk using points of analysis to create an argument concerning effectiveness based on evidence & reasons.
Attempts to evaluate the Talk using points of analysis that may be unclear/ may not contribute to an argument about effectiveness based on evidence & reasons.
Argument concerning effectiveness may/ may not be specific, clear, present, or based on evidence & reasons.
Clearly focused & supportable thesis statement outlining points of analysis that contribute to a clear argument of effectiveness
Supportable thesis statement outlining points of analysis that contribute to an argument of effectiveness
Somewhat supportable thesis statement, points of analysis may be unclear in relation to argument of effectiveness
Thesis statement isn’t clearly supportable; points of analysis and/or overall argument about effectiveness may be unclear
Thesis statement is unclear/ unsupportable/ non-existent
Organization is supported with helpful/effective transitions and coherent arrangement. Intro grabs attention and clearly explains the Talk. Conclusion effectively summarizes content/ conveys significance of topic.
Organization is supported with transitions and coherent arrangement. Intro grabs attention and provides some explanation of Talk. Conclusion summarizes content/ conveys significance of topic.
Organization is supported with some transitions. Arrangement may not be clear. Intro attempts to grab attention and/or provides limited discussion of Talk. Conclusion somewhat summarizes content/ conveys significance of topic.
Organization isn’t well-supported with transitions/ arrangement is unclear. Intro doesn’t grab attention/ provides limited discussion of Talk. Conclusion struggles to summarize content/ convey significance of topic.
Transitions are unclear/ arrangement is not coherent. Intro provides limited discussion of Talk. Conclusion doesn’t clearly summarize/ convey significance of topic
Use of Evidence
Evidence from both the Talk and/or outside sources effectively support analysis, are relevant to the subject & incorporated clearly. Both paraphrases & quotes are incorporated in accordance with paper guidelines
Evidence from both the Talk and/ or outside sources mostly support analysis, are relevant to the subject & incorporated well. Both paraphrases & quotes are incorporated in accordance with paper guidelines
Evidence from the Talk/ outside sources somewhat support analysis, and may struggle to be relevant to the subject & clear. Both paraphrases & quotes are incorporated in accordance with paper guidelines
Evidence struggles to support analysis, & may not be relevant to the subject, clear, and/ or incorporated in accordance with paper guidelines
Evidence does not support analysis, is not relevant to the subject, clear, and/ or incorporated in accordance with paper guidelines
Formatted correctly in MLA style with evidence accurately represented and cited using MLA in-text citations that match a Works Cited page with correct source information.
Formatted in MLA style with evidence represented and cited using MLA in-text citations that match a Works Cited page that may contain errors.
Formatted in MLA style with most evidence cited using MLA in-text citations that match a Works Cited page with mostly correct source information.
MLA formatting attempted with some evidence cited using MLA in-text citations that might match a Works Cited page.
MLA formatting not used; evidence not accurately represented or cited using MLA in-text citations that match a Works Cited page.
Communicates with clarity and effectively masters the English language with virtually no mistakes in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or syntax
Communicates with clarity with very few mistakes in grammar, syntax, punctuation or spelling
Communication is relatively clear with some mistakes in grammar, syntax, punctuation, or spelling.
unclear with many
mistakes in grammar,
punctuation, syntax, or spelling.
Writing is filled with mistakes in grammar,
punctuation, spelling, and syntax.
Total: / 100
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