TED talk essay

Choose a persuasive TED talk to thoroughly and carefully analyze. Scrutinize its use of cogent logic (truth value of premises and conclusions, valid relationships between them) and point out the flaws you observe (fallacies).

Demonstrate your knowledge of logic by illustrating as many concepts from chapters 1-5 as you can within 5-7 pages.  The talk you choose must be rated as persuasive first and it should be between 12-18 minutes.  Use the transcript for accuracy and thoroughness.

Gather research from five reliable, scholarly (or otherwise meaningful) sources on the subjectof the TED talk. Be sure to choose articles with various legitimate viewpoints.  Incorporate these sources, following all MLA rules, into your essay draft–they should either support the ideas, refute them, or do some of both.

For example, if you agree with some of the ideas in your TED talk, you can use the outside sources to “repair” and fill in the gaps of the speaker’s logic.  If you disagree, you can support your skepticism with the outside sources’ facts and/or reasoning, or you can do both with different sources.

Your thesis statement, thus, should claim something about the flaws in the logic of the talk.  Remember, this is not an analysis of the subject of the talk, but of the logic of the talk–the sources act only as verification.  In your draft, be sure to distinguish between the validity of the argument as well as the accuracy of ideas the argument contains.  The students sample(s) can be used as model(s) but not as sources.  You will need three copies of your draft, which is due with your synopsis.

Instructions to guide peer comments:

As a reader, create written comments on the three drafts you chose. Those comments should focus on the logic and clarity of the TED talk ideas and author’s examination and analysis of them.  Offer feedback at least once per paragraph, paying particular attention to where you feel convinced and, conversely, where you feel confused.

At the end, write a paragraph of your overall impression, advice for the revision, and an assessment of how clear and accurate the logic is.  Be sure to write your name clearly on it.

Once you receive your drafts back, use the peer comments to guide your revision. Seriously consider the ideas your peers present. You are not required to do exactly as they suggest, but how well you address their advice will be reflected in your grade.  The peer responses will be turned in with your revision.


Last Updated on March 19, 2020

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