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1
Single-Source Essay:
Summary, Argument, Analysis, and Response
The Danger of a Single Story
Purpose:
By writing this assignment, students write a well-developed six-paragraph collegiate
essay. To complete the assignment, they will learn essential writing strategies:
summarizing, incorporating quoted passages to support an argument, analyzing rhetorical
devices, and responding to a text. In doing so, students will practice the skills of
condensing ideas to summarize, incorporating and documenting quotes in MLA format,
choosing precise words, including vivid details, and creating smooth transitions. In
addition to essential writing skills, this assignment helps students practice effective
reading strategies, such as annotating and analyzing.
Description of the Assignment:
For this assignment, students will turn in a six-paragraph essay using MLA format and
the outline provided. In the introduction, begin with a hook. Then provide background
information about the topic, Chimamanda Adichie, the title of her TED Talk, and your
thesis. In the body paragraphs, summarize the article, present the author’s three strongest
points, analyze her rhetorical strategies, and provide your own personal response to the
subject. In the conclusion, evaluate the effectiveness of her argument and leave your
readers thinking about the danger of a single story.
Prompt:
In her TED Talk, Chimamanda Adichie explains her main point that there is danger in a
single story. Summarize, analyze, and respond to Adichie’s essay, ultimately stating
whether you agree or disagree with her argument.
Directions:
Read and annotate Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk, “‘The Danger of a Single Story”
Be prepared to turn in your annotated transcript with the Preliminary Work Packet.
In the introduction of the essay, provide a hook to capture your readers’ attention, move
seamlessly into the background information (a brief one- to three-sentence description of
the TED Talk, the title of the TED Talk in quotation marks, the author, and the general
point of the essay. Then transition smoothly to a clearly stated thesis, which must
prepare readers for the content of the essay. Throughout the introduction, guide your
readers from point to point, utilizing transitional words, phrases, and sentences.
2
In the first body paragraph summarize Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk “The Danger of
a Single Story.” First, return to the summarized annotations in the margins of your copy
of the TED Talk . Then, following the same order as Adichie’s TED talk, state the main
point of every section, staying true to her information. Unlike other assignments, DO
NOT INCLUDE details, quotes, or editorial (personal) comments. Finally, add
transitions to move readers smoothly from point to point, so the information reads as a
coherent paragraph.
In the second body paragraph, identify, quote, and explain what you believe to be
Adichie’s three most significant claims, using quoted passages from the TED Talk to
illustrate your reasoning. For each of Adichie’s claims, introduce the point with a general
statement of support (SOS), explain the context of the passage to set the stage for the
quote, introduce the quote with a verb, quote the passage, document the page number
using proper MLA format, and explain Adichie’s claim, emphasizing its importance in
her TED Talk.
In the third body paragraph, discuss and analyze Adichie’s use of rhetorical devices,
citing and explaining quoted passages from the article to illustrate your reasoning. For
each example, begin with a general statement of support (SOS), explain the context of the
quoted passage, introduce the quote with a verb, quote the passage, document the page
number using proper MLA format, and explain Adichie’s use of each rhetorical device
(be specific) and how it strengthens her argument.
In the fourth body paragraph, agree or disagree with the author’s main idea. Then,
describe a detailed example from your own experience, someone you know, or from the
media to vividly illustrate your argument for your readers. Include journalistic details of
who, what, when, where, why, and/or how to help your reader visualize your connection,
imagining it as it happened. Show us the experience rather than simply telling about it.
Also, employ at least five rhetorical devices, such as dialogue/monologue, action verbs,
alliteration, or a simile or metaphor to strengthen your writing. (Be prepared to highlight
and label these rhetorical devices before submitting your essay for a grade.)
Conclude your paper by evaluating the effectiveness of Adichie’s argument and leaving
your readers thinking about the topic.
Required Work—Be sure you have included the following:
_____
_____
_____
_____
_____
An engaging hook
An introduction to the TED Talk, the author, and the general point of the essay
A clear thesis statement, preparing the reader for the content of the essay
Topic sentence to introduce every body paragraph
In body paragraph one, a clear summary that highlights the main points (with no
details) of Adichie’s TED Talk in proper order
_____ In body paragraph two, three carefully chosen and explained quotes from the TED
Talk that reflect Adichie’s main points about the danger of a single story
3
_____ In body paragraph three, an analysis of at least three of her rhetorical devices and
an explanation of how they strengthen her argument
_____ In body paragraph four, your clearly stated opinion about the danger of a single
story
_____ In body paragraph four, descriptive language and rhetorical devices (at least five
highlighted and labeled) to illustrate and strengthen your argument
Simile and/or metaphor
Action verbs
Dialogue or monologue
Proper nouns—names, places, products
Alliteration
Short powerful sentences
Sensory details/descriptive words
Rhetorical question
Purposeful repetition
_____ A combination of transitional words and phrases to move readers from
paragraph to paragraph and from point to point
_____ Concluding sentences in all body paragraphs
_____ A relevant conclusion that evaluates the effectiveness of Adichie’s argument,
restates your opinion, and leaves the reader thinking about the danger of a single
story
Focusing on grammar, review the rules for using commas, semicolons, and apostrophes
(see BS Student Workbook), and be sure you have used them correctly in your
paper.
Next, add a typed list of the following at the bottom of the paper:
_____ Five of the following rhetorical devices:
One example of purposeful alliteration (the repetition of similar
sounds at the beginning of neighboring words)
A creative comparison: a simile or metaphor
At least five sensory details/descriptive words
At least five action verbs
Dialogue or monologue in the personal response paragraph
Short powerful sentence
Rhetorical question
Proper nouns—names, places, products
Purposeful repetition
_____ A compound sentence
_____ A complex sentence
_____ A compound-complex sentence
_____ A bridging transition (reminding readers of previously explained information)
_____ A sentence with a correctly used semicolon
Highlight the thesis in one color, topics sentences in a second color, and the general
statements of support in body paragraphs two (2) and three (3) in a third color.
Finally, run spell-check through your work (two misspelled words lower the grade to a “D.”)
4
Name: ________________________
Outline for the Single-Source
Summary and Response Essay
Directions for the Introduction: In the introduction of the essay, provide a hook to
capture your readers’ attention, move seamlessly into the background information (a brief one- to
three-sentence description of the TED Talk, the title of the TED Talk in quotation marks, the
author, and the general point of the essay. Then transition smoothly to a clearly stated thesis
(provided below), which must prepare readers for the content of the essay. Throughout the
introduction, guide your readers from point to point, utilizing transitional words, phrases, and
sentences.
Write
“___________________________________________________
page
____________________________________________________
number
_________________________________________________ here.
________________________________________” (Adichie ___).
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
________________________________________________
A thesis Statement (must be included in the introduction of your essay):
Consider using one of the samples below or write your own thesis:
Adichie effectively explains her main idea, providing powerful statements and rhetorical
devices to emphasize her main point that danger resides in a single story, ultimately
leaving me in agreement/disagreement with her main point.
Adichie explains her main idea, providing powerful statements and rhetorical devices to
emphasize her main point, ultimately leaving me in agreement/disagreement that danger
resides in a single story.
Providing powerful statements and rhetorical devices, Adichie explains her main point
that danger resides in a single story, ultimately leaving me in agreement/disagreement
with her main point.
5
Directions for body paragraph #1: In no more than one page, summarize
Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story.” First, return to the
summarized annotations in the margins of your copy of the TED Talk . Then, following the
same order as Adichie’s TED talk, state the main point of every section, staying true to her
information. Unlike other assignments, DO NOT INCLUDE details, quotes, or editorial
(personal) comments. Finally, add transitions to move readers smoothly from point to point, so
the information reads as a coherent paragraph.
Topic sentence for body paragraph #1: ___________________________________.
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
Concluding statement:
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
6
Directions for body paragraph #2: In the second body paragraph, identify, quote, and
explain what you believe to be Adichie’s three most significant claims, using quoted passages
from the TED Talk to illustrate your reasoning. For each of Adichie’s claims, introduce the point
with a general statement of support (SOS), explain the context of the passage to set the stage for
the quote, introduce the quote with a verb, quote the passage, document the page number in MLA
format, and explain Adichie’s claim, emphasizing its importance in her TED Talk.
Topic sentence for body paragraph #2: ___________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________.
When
explaining the
context of the
quoted
passage,
briefly state
the subject
matter of the
section from
which the
passage is
borrowed.
Here are some
examples: “At
the beginning
of her TED
Talk when
Adichie
describes the
stories she
read as a girl,
she states, . .
.” or “When
describing her
roommate’s
single story,
Adichie
recalls, . . .”
Statement of Support #1:
_______________________________________________________________________
Context:
_______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
Quote: Adichie __________ (add action verb of choice: states, asserts, etc.),
“___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________” (
Include
the page
number
here.
).
Explanation: ____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
Statement of Support #2:
______________________________________________________________________
Context:
______________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
7
Quote: Adichie __________ (add action verb of choice: states, asserts, etc.),
“__________________________________________________________________
Include
the page
number
here.
__________________________________________________
__________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________” (
).
Explanation: ____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
Statement of Support #3:
______________________________________________________________________
Context:
______________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
Quote: Adichie __________ (add action verb of choice: states, asserts, etc.),
“___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________” (
Include
the page
number
here.
).
Explanation: ____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
Concluding remark:______________________________________________________
8
Directions for body paragraph #3: In the third body paragraph, discuss and analyze
Adichie’s use of rhetorical devices, citing and explaining quoted passages from the article to
illustrate your reasoning. For each example, begin with a general statement of support (SOS),
explain the context of the quoted passage, introduce the quote with a verb, quote the passage,
document the page number using proper MLA format, and explain Adichie’s use of each
rhetorical device (be specific) and how it strengthens her argument.
Topic sentence for body paragraph #3: ___________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________.
Statement of Support #1:
____________________________________________________________________________
Context:
____________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
Quote: Adichie __________ (add action verb),
“________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________” (
Include
the page
number
here.
).
Explanation: _________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
Statement of Support #2:
____________________________________________________________________________
Context:
____________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
9
Quote: Adichie __________ (add action verb),
“________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________” (
Include
the page
number
here.
).
Explanation: _________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
Statement of Support #3:
____________________________________________________________________________
Context:
____________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
Quote: Adichie __________ (add action verb),
“________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________” (
Include
the page
number
here.
).
Explanation: _________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
Concluding remark:____________________________________________________________
10
Directions for body paragraph #4: In the fourth body paragraph, agree or disagree
with the author’s main idea. Then, describe a detailed example from your own experience,
someone you know, or from the media to vividly illustrate your argument for your readers.
Include journalistic details of who, what, when, where, why, and/or how to help your reader
visualize your connection, imagining it as it happened. Show us the experience rather than simply
telling about it.
Also, employ at least five of the following rhetorical devices:
Simile and/or metaphor
Action verbs
Dialogue or monologue
Proper nouns—names, places, products
Alliteration
Short powerful sentences
Sensory details/descriptive words
Rhetorical question
Purposeful repetition
(Be prepared to highlight a …
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