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The Essay Objective. This assignment will challenge your abilities to persuade a skeptically disposed opponent. What is more, you will have to pick your side first. You will write about the research of Brene Brown, Professor of Social Workat the University of Houston Graduate College. Watch her presentation “The Power of Vulnerability” on TED Talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html) and decide whether you agree with Dr. Brown or not. If you do, your essay will approach the notion of the vulnerability as a natural gift rather than the weakness. Explain the pointlessness of a continuous struggle against something that in reality is eager to help you. Share your own reasons in favor to let the vulnerability to become your strength. On the contrary, if you do not agree with Dr. Brown’s opinion, state your arguments equally firmly. This assignment is not about your point of view; it is about how you present it. Thus, feel free to choose the side which suits you best as it would be much easier for you to defend the point you believe in.

Your Audience. As follows from the essay’s objective, your audience will not share your views at all. Your readers will be skeptical to the point of hostility, and it is them you will have to persuade. Your audience will comprise some of your classmates as well as people in their 40s and 60s. All of them have something to say on the topic, either from their life experiences or worldviews. They will have one thing in common though: whatever point you will choose to defend, they will contradict you strongly. Be prepared for their counterarguments and challenge these counterarguments in your essay. Be detailed and patient with your audience: the subject is much more complex than it may seem at the first glance. Thus, you will have to approach your readers gradually, presenting the arguments in measured doses. Your ultimate goal for this essay is to convert your audience into the supporters of your position.

Writing the Essay:

  1. Summarize notes which you have been taking while watching the clip. Arrange these notes to form an essay’s skeleton.
  2. Decide about your arguments’ style. Could your essay benefit from the use of Rogerian argument? Can you really manage this style given the very specific audience?
  3. Based on the style choice, construct the essay’s body. Maintain the integrity and logic.
  4. Select two quotes from the clip that may help you develop the arguments. Put these quotes at the strategic places of your essay.
  5. Make your essay more academic by using the online research and documentation resource at http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/RES5e_ch04_o.html. Browse around the link and get familiar with a number of writing techniques and methods.
  6. Your essay should start with a summary and end with a conclusion. The combined volume of the summary and conclusion should not exceed 40% of your essay.
  7. As you write, use the third person point of view
  8. Do not forget to proofread your essay before submitting it.

Style Requirements and Paper’s Structure:

  • Your essay should correspond to MLA style requirements. Consult a webpage for details: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
  • Include a reference to the clip in correct MLA format. Make sure your references, heading and title are properly formatted and capitalized.
  • Use 12 pt. Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1 inch margins on all sides.
  • Keep your essay between 500-600 words. Please put the word count on the title page so it could be easily found.
  • You must save your essay in .doc or .rtf format before uploading it.

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