ENGL135: Week 1: Evaluative Writing

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Week 1: Evaluative Writing

Writing effective evaluations is an important skill that you will use not only in college but frequently in your career and everyday interactions. Think about it: every time you are presented with someone’s opinion, either verbally or in written form, you engage in the process of evaluation to decide whether or not you agree with the opinion. At work, you may evaluate a business strategy. At school, you may evaluate the impact of an important invention. At home, you may evaluate the quality of a new appliance you just purchased.

This week, you will begin writing your first essay, an evaluation of an argument presented in a TED Talk in which the speaker presents a persuasive thesis on a debatable issue. The finished essay will be due in Week 2. For more details on the essay, please read the assignment description and the Assignment Connection in the Week 1 Lesson.

In your initial post for this week, due no later than Wednesday, please share your TED Talk choice, providing a reference in APA style, and answer the following questions in complete sentences to get yourself off to a good start.

Reference Format:

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Date). Title of talk [Video]. TED Conferences. URL  (note: Title of talk should be in italics)

Example: Lanier, J. (2018, April). How we need to remake the Internet [Video]. TED Conferences. (Links to an external site.)

  • What is the TED speaker’s topic?
  • What is the speaker’s connection to the topic, and from what angle does the speaker approach the topic?
  • What is the speaker’s overall perspective or opinion on the argument? Whether it is clearly stated or not, identify what you think is your speaker’s central thesis.
  • What is the speaker’s purpose? What does the speaker want the audience to do with the information they are presented with?
  • What is your thesis regarding the quality of the speaker’s argument, including your overall judgment of the speaker’s effectiveness?

In your follow-up posts, provide substantial, robust feedback to at least two of your fellow students’ topic choices. These feedback posts should each be a solid paragraph of at least five sentences.


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