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Synopsis: The purpose of this assignment is to investigate how writers communicate
their ideas about a topic to their audience and to give you the opportunity to express your
own views about a writer’s ideas on a given topic.
For this assignment, the topic will be
the danger of a single story about a group of people or a place.
You will be watching and reading the TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story” by
author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie’s talk will demonstrate how authors
organize their arguments to take a position on an issue.
Your paper will include an introduction in which you briefly summarize the talk for your
audience and conclude with a thesis that signals to your audience what you will be discussing in
the remainder of the paper.
In the conclusion to your paper, you will summarize your responses to Adichie’s talk.
The final publish will be 3-5 pages, double-spaced, and will not include a Works Cited page.
The audience for this paper will be other English 1301 students at Tarleton. For this audience,
you can anticipate that some of them will be familiar with the ideas within the talk and reading,
while others will not. You will need to be careful to clarify to your audience what the main
points are you’re agreeing with and/or disagreeing with.
Guidelines: Standard MLA formatting guidelines (1-inch margins, double spaced, Times New
Roman or Calibri, 12 pt font, abbreviated cover page) Paper length: 3-5 pgs (max)
Steps to Complete the Assignment:
1. Watch and Read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “The Danger of a Single Story” (TED
Talk); Read Ronald Takaki, “Author’s Note: Epistemology and Epiphany” (pgs.
2. Begin by generative writing. Select 2-3 ideas from the talk that stood out to you.
List and describe them in your own words. Now record your responses to those
ideas. What do you think what Adichie says?
3. Once you have identified the ideas you want to respond to, review the writing
4. Before you start your essay publish, begin by formatting your document to meet MLA
5. Be sure to include all main organizational tools including a Title, Introduction,
Thesis Statement, Transitions between paragraphs, and Conclusion, as well as
Quotations and Citations.
6. As you write, be sure to address the following questions:
o What are 2-3 ideas Adichie presents that stood out to you? (the topic)
o What do you make of these ideas? Do they resonate? Do you find them
o How does the concept of the single story relate to Takaki’s definition of
o In light of these ideas, what is your response to Adichie?
o For the audience, what should be the major take away from Adichie’s talk?
What should be the audience’s major take away from your response?
7. Submit your paper for Peer-Review and Faculty-Review.
8. Complete all revisions and submit them by the due date.
Epistemology – How you know what you know (Takaki pg#)
MLA Formatting – Guidelines used by the Modern Language Association to format essays.
(See Purdue Owl MLA Formatting and Style Guide for more details)