I don’t understand this English question and need help to study.


100 points (counts 20% of your course grade)


  • To earn 2% extra credit on your essay, submit Essay 1 by 11:59pm on Sunday, September 27.
  • The final day to submit Essay 1 is Thursday, October 1, by 11:59pm.
  • You will earn 2% extra credit if you schedule a 15-minute tutoring appointment with Vanessa during week 6 (9/21-9/25).

LENGTH: 1,050-1,400 words (3-4 full pages, not including Works Cited)

Click here for a SAMPLE OF ESSAY 1


Essay 1 will help you achieve this Student Learning Outcome for English 120: “Identify and analyze rhetorical and organizational strategies from a variety of texts and employ appropriate strategies to compose thesis-driven essays.” Analyzing rhetoric helps you to understand how rhetorical strategies affect the audience, and this understanding can help you to create stronger arguments.


Choose a Ted Talk (Links to an external site.) about something you’re interested in. Make sure the Ted Talk is an argument and uses a variety of rhetorical strategies. In Essay 1, you will write a rhetorical analysis of the Ted Talk you have chosen.


Introduction (1 paragraph)

  1. Get the reader’s attention.
  2. Identify the speaker and title of the Ted Talk you are analyzing,
  3. Identify the speaker’s probable audience.
  4. Summarize the speaker’s argument (thesis).
  5. In your thesis statement, identify (1) the rhetorical strategies you think the speaker uses to try and convince the audience and (2) your opinion about how effective these strategies are.

Body (3-4 body paragraphs)

Include the following in each body paragraph:

  1. Topic Sentence: State a topic sentence in each body paragraph and identify a rhetorical strategy (persuasive technique) that you think the speaker uses to try and convince the audience.
  2. Examples: Draw examples from the Ted Talk that illustrate the rhetorical strategy (persuasive technique) you stated in your topic sentence. Refer to the transcript.
  3. Analysis: Explain the intended effect of the rhetorical strategy. To help you develop the analysis, refer to the examples in our practice analysis of “A Guerrilla Gardner in South Central LA,” and use these questions:
      • Do you think the speaker intended for the rhetorical strategy to appeal to the audience’s interests, senses, emotions, values or logic?
      • How might the rhetorical strategy affect the audience’s interest level, senses, emotions, values or logic? And why might the strategy make the audience react this way?
      • How might the rhetorical strategy get the audience to agree with the speaker’s thesis?
      • How might the audience’s opinions or behavior change as a result of this rhetorical strategy?
  1. Evaluation (optional): You may also add evaluation to your body paragraphs and explain weaknesses with the rhetorical strategy.

Conclusion (1 paragraph)

  1. Summarize your position.
  2. Also, you could offer recommendations for alternative ways the speaker could have developed the argument in order to convince the audience more.

Works Cited

  • On a separate sheet of paper include a works cited page at the end of your essay that lists the Ted Talk you cited.


  • Type this three-four page essay, and use MLA format, 12 point font, Times New Roman font style, double-spacing, and one inch margins.
  • Incorporate examples and quotations from the Ted Talk into your essay, and document any quoted or summarized material from the Ted Talk with an in-text citation (speaker’s last name and time). Example of an in-text citation: (Finley 04:28).
  • Use an organizational pattern to structure your essay.
  • Use transitions to help the reader follow your ideas.
  • Proofread your essay for grammar and punctuation errors.
  • Submit your own work.


If the grading rubric does not appear below, click on the options icon (three vertical dots) located in the top right-hand corner and then click on “Show Rubric” to view the grading requirements for this essay.


  • You will upload a file. Watch this video to see how to upload a file.