The Danger of a Single Story


Select one (1) TED talk from the four talks listed below. Watch the TED talk and take notes.

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Order Essay 2009, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “The Danger of a Single Story (Links to an external site.)” (nearly 21.5 million views) 2019, Lori Gottlieb, “How Changing Your Story Can Change Your Life (Links to an external site.)” (2.6 million views) 2019, David Peterson, “Why Language is Humanity’s Greatest Invention (Links to an external site.)” (~1.3 million views) 2019, Jacqueline Woodson, “What Reading Slowly Taught Me About Writing (Links to an external site.)” (~2 million views)


Once you’ve chosen the TED talk you’d like to respond to, write an essay between 750-1000+ words that summarizes the argument made in the talk and then extends the conversation by critically responding to the TED author with your own argument of critique. You may choose to agree, disagree, or agree and disagree with the author’s argument, but you must add to the conversation by presenting your own position as well, which you will support by using at least two sources that you find as you research and plan your response.

If you don’t remember the full details of the assignment directions, click here to review them.


(1) Summarize the argument and key points of the TED talk; be sure to give examples with citations (1-2 paragraphs).

(2) Add your voice to the conversation; agree or disagree with evidence and analysis from two or more research sources (2-3 paragraphs, or more). This is your argument of critique. Remember that all of your evidence must be hyperlinked.

(3) In your conclusion, provide practical implications for the topic you’ve been discussing in your essay; make it matter for your readers. What are the takeaways? Why should they care? How does this apply to or impact their lives? (1-2 paragraphs).


Be sure that your essay meets the following assignment requirements:

(1) At least 750-1000+ words in length.

(2) Written in an academic and professional style designed for a college-educated public audience.

(3) Incorporates cited material from at least two research sources. These may be scholarly or public sources: scholarly journal articles, scholarly books, books written by journalists or other well-known writers, newspaper articles, magazine articles, etc. (Be sure that your sources are credible; they impact your ethos as a writer.)

(4) All evidence in your essay (paraphrases, summaries, and/or direct quotes from your research sources) must be hyperlinked.

(5) All in-text citations must follow MLA 8 formatting; an MLA 8 Works Cited list must also be provided.

(6) The essay should be free of all spelling, grammatical, and formatting/mechanical errors.

Watch the first video- ‘The Danger of a Single Story”

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