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Single-Source Essay:

Summary, Argument, Analysis, and Response

The Danger of a Single Story

Purpose:

By writing this assignment, students write a well-developed six-paragraph collegiate

essay. To complete the assignment, they will learn essential writing strategies:

summarizing, incorporating quoted passages to support an argument, analyzing rhetorical

devices, and responding to a text. In doing so, students will practice the skills of

condensing ideas to summarize, incorporating and documenting quotes in MLA format,

choosing precise words, including vivid details, and creating smooth transitions. In

addition to essential writing skills, this assignment helps students practice effective

reading strategies, such as annotating and analyzing.

Description of the Assignment:

For this assignment, students will turn in a six-paragraph essay using MLA format and

the outline provided. In the introduction, begin with a hook. Then provide background

information about the topic, Chimamanda Adichie, the title of her TED Talk, and your

thesis. In the body paragraphs, summarize the article, present the author’s three strongest

points, analyze her rhetorical strategies, and provide your own personal response to the

subject. In the conclusion, evaluate the effectiveness of her argument and leave your

readers thinking about the danger of a single story.

Prompt:

In her TED Talk, Chimamanda Adichie explains her main point that there is danger in a

single story. Summarize, analyze, and respond to Adichie’s essay, ultimately stating

whether you agree or disagree with her argument.

Directions:

Read and annotate Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk, “‘The Danger of a Single Story”

Be prepared to turn in your annotated transcript with the Preliminary Work Packet.

In the introduction of the essay, provide a hook to capture your readers’ attention, move

seamlessly into the background information (a brief one- to three-sentence description of

the TED Talk, the title of the TED Talk in quotation marks, the author, and the general

point of the essay. Then transition smoothly to a clearly stated thesis, which must

prepare readers for the content of the essay. Throughout the introduction, guide your

readers from point to point, utilizing transitional words, phrases, and sentences.

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In the first body paragraph summarize Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk “The Danger of

a Single Story.” First, return to the summarized annotations in the margins of your copy

of the TED Talk . Then, following the

same order

as Adichie’s TED talk, state the main

point of every section, staying true to

her

information. Unlike other assignments, DO

NOT INCLUDE details, quotes, or editorial (personal) comments. Finally, add

transitions to move readers smoothly from point to point, so the information reads as a

coherent paragraph.

In the second body paragraph, identify, quote, and explain what you believe to be

Adichie’s three most significant claims, using quoted passages from the TED Talk to

illustrate your reasoning. For each of Adichie’s claims, introduce the point with a general

statement of support (SOS), explain the context of the passage to set the stage for the

quote, introduce the quote with a verb, quote the passage, document the page number

using proper MLA format, and explain Adichie’s claim, emphasizing its importance in

her TED Talk.

In the third body paragraph, discuss and analyze Adichie’s use of rhetorical devices,

citing and explaining quoted passages from the article to illustrate your reasoning. For

each example, begin with a general statement of support (SOS), explain the context of the

quoted passage, introduce the quote with a verb, quote the passage, document the page

number using proper MLA format, and explain Adichie’s use of each rhetorical device

(be specific) and how it strengthens her argument.

In the fourth body paragraph, agree or disagree with the author’s main idea. Then,

describe a detailed example from your own experience, someone you know, or from the

media to vividly illustrate your argument for your readers. Include journalistic details of

who, what, when, where, why, and/or how to help your reader visualize your connection,

imagining it as it happened.

Show

us the experience rather than simply telling about it.

Also, employ at

least five

rhetorical devices, such as dialogue/monologue, action verbs,

alliteration, or a simile or metaphor to strengthen your writing.

(Be prepared to highlight

and label these rhetorical devices before submitting your essay for a grade.)

Conclude your paper by evaluating the effectiveness of Adichie’s argument and leaving

your readers thinking about the topic.

Required Work—Be sure you have included the following:

_____ An engaging hook

_____ An introduction to the TED Talk, the author, and the general point of the essay

_____ A clear thesis statement, preparing the reader for the content of the essay

_____ Topic sentence to introduce every body paragraph

_____ In body paragraph one, a clear summary that highlights the main points (with no

details) of Adichie’s TED Talk in proper order

_____ In body paragraph two, three carefully chosen and explained quotes from the TED

Talk that reflect Adichie’s main points about the danger of a single story

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_____ In body paragraph three, an analysis of at least three of her rhetorical devices and

an explanation of how they strengthen her argument

_____ In body paragraph four, your clearly stated opinion about the danger of a single

story

_____ In body paragraph four, descriptive language and rhetorical devices (at least five

highlighted and labeled) to illustrate and strengthen your argument

Simile and/or metaphor

Short powerful sentences

Action verbs

Sensory details/descriptive words

Dialogue or monologue

Rhetorical question

Proper nouns—names, places, products

Purposeful repetition

Alliteration

_____ A combination of transitional words and phrases to move readers from

paragraph to paragraph and from point to point

_____ Concluding sentences in all body paragraphs

_____ A relevant conclusion that evaluates the effectiveness of Adichie’s argument,

restates your opinion, and leaves the reader thinking about the danger of a single

story

Focusing on grammar, review the rules for using commas, semicolons, and apostrophes

(see BS Student Workbook), and be sure you have used them correctly in your

paper.

Next, add a typed list of the following at the bottom of the paper:

_____ Five of the following rhetorical devices:

One example of purposeful alliteration (the repetition of similar

sounds at the beginning of neighboring words)

A creative comparison: a simile or metaphor

At least five sensory details/descriptive words

At least five action verbs

Dialogue or monologue in the personal response paragraph

Short powerful sentence

Rhetorical question

Proper nouns—names, places, products

Purposeful repetition

_____ A compound sentence

_____ A complex sentence

_____ A compound-complex sentence

_____ A bridging transition (reminding readers of previously explained information)

_____ A sentence with a correctly used semicolon

Highlight the thesis in one color, topics sentences in a second color, and the general

statements of support in body paragraphs two (2) and three (3) in a third color.

Finally

, run spell-check through your work

(two misspelled words lower the grade to a “D

Directions for the Introduction

:

In the introduction of the essay, provide a hook to

capture your readers’ attention, move seamlessly into the background information (a brief one- to

three-sentence description of the TED Talk, the title of the TED Talk in quotation marks, the

author, and the general point of the essay. Then transition smoothly to a clearly stated thesis

(provided below), which must prepare readers for the content of the essay. Throughout the

introduction, guide your readers from point to point, utilizing transitional words, phrases, and

sentences.

A thesis Statement (must be included in the introduction of your essay):

Consider using one of the samples below or write your own thesis:

Adichie effectively explains her main idea, providing powerful statements and rhetorical

devices to emphasize her main point that danger resides in a single story, ultimately

leaving me in agreement/disagreement with her main point.

Adichie explains her main idea, providing powerful statements and rhetorical devices to

emphasize her main point, ultimately leaving me in agreement/disagreement that danger

resides in a single story.

Providing powerful statements and rhetorical devices, Adichie explains her main point

that danger resides in a single story, ultimately leaving me in agreement/disagreement

with her main point.

Directions for body paragraph #1:

In no more than one page, summarize

Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story.” First, return to the

summarized annotations in the margins of your copy of the TED Talk . Then, following the

same order

as Adichie’s TED talk, state the main point of every section, staying true to

her

information. Unlike other assignments, DO NOT INCLUDE details, quotes, or editorial

(personal) comments. Finally, add transitions to move readers smoothly from point to point, so

the information reads as a coherent paragraph.Directions for body paragraph #2:

In the second body paragraph, identify, quote, and

explain what you believe to be Adichie’s three most significant claims, using quoted passages

from the TED Talk to illustrate your reasoning. For each of Adichie’s claims, introduce the point

with a general statement of support (SOS), explain the context of the passage to set the stage for

the quote, introduce the quote with a verb, quote the passage, document the page number in MLA

format, and explain Adichie’s claim, emphasizing its importance in her TED talk

Directions for body paragraph #2:

In the second body paragraph, identify, quote, and

explain what you believe to be Adichie’s three most significant claims, using quoted passages

from the TED Talk to illustrate your reasoning. For each of Adichie’s claims, introduce the point

with a general statement of support (SOS), explain the context of the passage to set the stage for

the quote, introduce the quote with a verb, quote the passage, document the page number in MLA

format, and explain Adichie’s claim, emphasizing its importance in her TED Talk.

Directions for body paragraph #3:

In the third body paragraph, discuss and analyze

Adichie’s use of rhetorical devices, citing and explaining quoted passages from the article to

illustrate your reasoning. For each example, begin with a general statement of support (SOS),

explain the context of the quoted passage, introduce the quote with a verb, quote the passage,

document the page number using proper MLA format, and explain Adichie’s use of each

rhetorical device (be specific) and how it strengthens her argument.

Directions for body paragraph #4:

In the fourth body paragraph, agree or disagree

with the author’s main idea. Then, describe a detailed example from your own experience,

someone you know, or from the media to vividly illustrate your argument for your readers.

Include journalistic details of who, what, when, where, why, and/or how to help your reader

visualize your connection, imagining it as it happened.

Show

us the experience rather than simply

telling about it.

Also, employ at

least five

of the following rhetorical devices:

Simile and/or metaphor

Short powerful sentences

Action verbs

Sensory details/descriptive words

Dialogue or monologue

Rhetorical question

Proper nouns—names, places, products

Purposeful repetition

Alliteration

(Be prepared to highlight and label these rhetorical devices before submitting your essay for a

grade.)

Directions for the concluding paragraph:

Conclude your paper by evaluating the

effectiveness of Adichie’s argument and leaving your readers thinking about the topic.

 
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