Instructions: Your first essay â€“ the critical evaluation essay â€“ is due at the end of week three. In this essay, you will be critically evaluating a speakerâ€™s rhetorical skills.
Choose one TED Talk. Links to the TED Talks are on our Home Page. Decide whether the argument is successful or not. Has the speaker correctly used various methods of persuasion to convince you of his or her central claim? If you decide this speech is successful, discuss why. Evaluate the various types of support (ethos, pathos, and logos) as proof of the argumentâ€™s success. Make sure that your essay has an introduction that contains a hook and a thesis, body paragraphs that discuss one proof at a time (one paragraph per example), and a conclusion. If you decide that the speech is not successful, then discuss the fallacies that the argument makes. You are still required to have a strong introduction (hook and thesis), body paragraphs that discuss one fallacy at a time, and a conclusion. You may also discuss how the speech is successful with reservations. In this case, point to both the support and the fallacies you have found in the work.
Most of you will decide that your speaker has done a good job in composing his or her argument, so you will have three body paragraphs, one each evaluating how well the speaker used ethos (credibility), pathos, and logos to support the central message.
This paper should be at least 700 words, but no more than 850. The paper should be formatted correctly MLA style and written in third person (do not use the words I, me, us, we, or you). The essay should also contain citations and a works cited list based on your selected essay in the assigned readings. Formulate the structured response from your own close reading of the text. Include short quotes in each of the body paragraphs and cite them with the time stamp from the speech. Do not use outside sources (open Web) without explicit permission from the instructor.
Supplemental Readings, which include essays, articles, and historical speeches, can be accessed here and through the weekly lessons. Additionally, for the Week 2 and Week 3 forums, and the first essay, you will choose a TED talk to evaluate.
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