week 9 discussion ted talk 8

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Response to TWO classmates due Friday by 11:59pm

For those of you who are choosing to read Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. Robert Galbraith is in fact a pseudonym for the very famous author of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling. She published Cuckoo’s Callingunder a male name because even though she was a very successful and popular novelist at the time, she was boxed in by publishers as being only a Children’s Author.

Because some of us will be reading her work this semester, I wish to begin our second 8 weeks with her TED Talk and Harvard Commencement Speech in 2008.

For this week’s TED Talk assignment, please answer the following questions about the TED talk “The Fringe Benefits of Failure” by JK Rowling.



  1. What is the speaker’s main argument? Or what is her thesis?
  2. Name at least 3 specific examples/pieces of evidence she uses to support her argument?
  3. What was the biggest takeaway that you had from this video? What interested you the most?
  4. What kind of stories is Rowling telling her audience in the speech?
  5. How does Rowling organize her speech? In connection with Question 4, when do those stories show up in her speech? When does she tell those stories? Is there any pattern you can discern or figure out from where she places those stories (specific evidence)?
  6. What is Rowling’s purpose? What does she want from his audience?
  7. What is Rowling’s tone? Is her tone successful in connecting with her audience?

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