Research Essay: Ideas worth Exploring& Problems worth Solving
Length: 5-6 pages in MLA Style
Over the second half of the term, we have had an opportunity to view and discuss several TED talks that explore social problems and
questions of identity. For your research paper, you will need to choose one of the following TED talks that present an idea that you feel
reveals a problem that is worth exploring at greater length:
• Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story”
• JamilaLyiscott’s “3 Ways to Speak English”
• Brian Stevenson’s “We Need to Talk about an Injustice”
• Sheryl Sandberg’s “Why We have Too Few Women Leaders”
• Cameron Russell’s “Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a Model”
• L.Z. Granderson’s “The Myth of the Gay Agenda”
• Clint Smith’s “The Danger of Silence”
• Ken Robinson’s “How Schools Kill Creativity”
• Barry Schwartz’s “The Paradox of Choice”
After selecting your talk, you will then need to identify a problem that is relatedto the talk and pose a feasible solution that will
either solve OR improve the problem.
Your goal is not to argue the same thing as the speaker but rather to build upon the topic by offering a more specific claim.
For example, I would not want to argue that women should “sit at the table” in order to improve their chances of working their way up the
corporate ladder, as that is Sandberg’s argument; however, I might want to propose that women’s leadership courses be instituted in public
high schools as a way of preparing women to enter male-dominated fields.
Your proposal should clearly identify a problem and pose a viable solution. The TED talk should serve as one source for your essay. It is
unnecessary to provide an extended close analysis of the talk for this essay.
5-6 pages in length
At least 4 credible sources (1 should be the TED talk)
An arguable and clearly-defined thesis articulated in “A should do B because of C” format
MLA documentation with a “works cited” page
Direct quotations from your sources along with your own explanation of these quotations
Adherence to grammatical conventions
Clear, Concise, and Convincing writing overall