Essay #3 Prompt: W20 EWRT D001A Composition And Reading 65Z, 67Z, 69Z Giardino 31374, 31973, 36136
Essay #3 Prompt
For this assignment, you will write your own Ted Talk, on any subject you choose.
You do not need to be an “expert” in the topic. You should care deeply about your topic, though. Choose a topic you can research and
discuss with passion and conviction.
You should have a goal for this TED Talk: Do you want to inform? Do you want to inspire? Do you want to motivate? Do you want to
create change? Do you want to comfort people?
The talk must be at least five paragraphs of text, and it should be about 1,000 words. You will ONLY submit the written essay, NOT a
However, to review and polish your work, it would be a great idea to record yourself delivering the talk. When you read your essay
aloud, you will likely discover wordiness, awkward phrasing, and lack of flow. This process will help you refine your writing.
A strong introduction is crucial.
• Draw in your audience members with something they care about. If it’s a topic the general audience thinks about a lot, start with a
clear statement of what the idea is. If it’s a field they never think about, start off by invoking something they do think about a lot and
relate that concept to your idea. -If the idea is something fun, but not something the audience would ever think about, open with a
surprising and cool fact or declaration of relevance (not a statistic!). If it’s a heavy topic, find an understated and frank way to get off the
ground; don’t force people to feel emotional.
• Get your idea out as quickly as possible.
• Don’t focus too much on yourself.
• Don’t open with a string of stats.
In presenting your topic and evidence:
• Make a list of all the evidence you want to use: Think about items that your audience already knows about and the things you’ll need
to convince them of. Order all of the items in your list based on what a person needs to know before they can understand the next
point, and from least to most exciting. Now cut out everything you possibly can without losing the integrity of your argument. You will
most likely need to cut things that you think are important. Consider making this list with a trusted friend, someone who isn’t an expert
in your field.
• You must do research for your essay, using reliable sources (as reviewed in week 8), and you can also conduct personal interviews
for your source materials.
• Spend more time on new information: If your audience needs to be reminded of old or common information, be brief.
• Use empirical evidence and limit anecdotal evidence.
• Don’t use too much jargon, or explain new terminology.
• (Respectfully) address any controversies in your claims, including legitimate counterarguments, reasons you might be wrong, or
doubts your audience might have about your idea.
Essay #3 Prompt: W20 EWRT D001A Composition And Reading 65Z, 67Z, 69Z Giardino 31374, 31973, 36136
• Don’t let citations interrupt the flow of your explanation.
• Find a landing point in your conclusion that will leave your audience feeling positive toward you and your idea’s chances for success.
Don’t use your conclusion to simply summarize what you’ve already said; tell your audience how your idea might affect their lives if it’s
• Avoid ending with a pitch (such as soliciting funds, showing a book cover, using corporate logos).
• If appropriate, give your audience a call to action.
1. Your essay MUST include five direct quotes from research, using a variety of quote set ups as reviewed in week 8.
2. The text of your Ted Talk should exhibit correct usage of commas, as reviewed in week 9.
3. The Ted Talk should have strong, vital, vivid writing. It should be free of awkward phrasing and full of college-level vocabulary and
sentence variety, as reviewed in week 10.
4. At the end of your Talk text, you MUST provide a complete bibliography in MLA format, as reviewed in week 10.

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