1. Reflective Project (example)
  2. Researched Argument Essay (example)
  3. Approaches to Oral Argument Assignment (example)

The following essays have been reformatted for publication. Please follow the manuscript formatting guidelines provided by your instructor.


Note: The Reflective Project may take the form of an unbroken essay, or it may be divided into sections. The example below illustrates some of the topics that may be discussed as part of the assignment, but be certain to follow the specific format guidelines for your section.


Research Narrative

Carrington Atkins

Radford University

Part 1: My Research Experience Prior to CORE 102

Anytime that I have done research it has been when I had to do it for an assignment for school. When I was in the tenth grade, I had the opportunity to choose my own topic for my research paper. To me, being able to choose what I wanted to write about was more challenging than having my teacher decide my topic. When deciding what topic I wanted to write about for my paper, there were many factors that added to that decision. I asked myself, “What interests me the most?” I thought about things that I could cover a lot of material on. Then, I thought of the topic I wanted to write about. I decided I wanted to do my research on Anabolic Steroids. The problem with my research topic was that it was way too broad and there was no possible way that I could only write four to five pages on that subject. Therefore, I had to break it down. I went back and asked myself once again, “What interests me the most?” So, I decided to not write about Anabolic Steroids in general. Since I had played sports my whole life, I chose to do my research on the effect of Anabolic Steroids on athletes. Writing about a topic that could have applied to myself, since I was an athlete, made the topic a lot more interesting.

Although I was able to choose my topic for my research assignment in the tenth grade, I have not always had the opportunity to decide what I wanted to write about. This past year in CORE 101, I was given a topic that made me discuss whether Bigfoot was real or not. This topic was very difficult for me because I was not intrigued about the existence of Bigfoot. There was nothing I could do about the topic so I started my research. I watched documentaries, TV shows, read articles, and even asked other individuals what their thoughts were on the existence of the Yeti. As I dug deeper and deeper into the topic, I became more absorbed.

As far as time management goes, I normally had about three weeks to write my research papers. I would usually take a week to write the paper and use the additional weeks to add information that I would find later on. I always preferred dividing my research into sections to make sure I did not give myself an overload of information. For example, for my Bigfoot research, I would watch documentaries and TV shows one day and gather all the information I needed from there. The next day I would read tons of articles and pull information from those. Finally, I talked to different people about what they believed about Bigfoot and wrote down their opinions and quotes. After I had all of the information I needed I would compile all of my research and pick out what was most important in order to create an outline. When the outline was finished I would sit down and write my entire paper. The next day, when my mind was fresh, was when I would proofread. So, my entire research process took about one whole week. Therefore, I would use the additional weeks to add additional information.

Due to the obstacles I have faced when doing research assignments, I have had the opportunity to learn many research techniques. These techniques have not only helped me on my past research assignments, but they will also help me on my future research projects.

Part 2: Choosing My Topic and Creating My Research Question

Choosing a topic, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult parts when it comes to a research paper. The first thing that I do in the process of choosing a topic is, I think about things that I personally think are interesting or things that I really care about. I started out by listing five topics that I thought I could write a decent paper on. Then I did some background research online and looked up the amount of information that was available for each topic. One topic that I chose was the effects of hypoglycemia on children, but there was too much information to put into one paper. Another topic that I chose was the effects of rap music on young individuals, but that topic has been conversed so much that there is too much information to write a good paper on. After I did some background research I went back to my list and crossed a few topics off. Then I asked myself, “What will I enjoy writing about most?” I decided to pick the topic that related to me personally. One of my topics was about the effects of divorce on children. In my case, my parents divorced when I was one year old. Therefore, I decided to choose a topic because it applies to me. I believe this research topic will be effective because it does not ask, “What is the effect of divorce on people?” It asks, “What are the effects of divorce on children?” The question specifically asks about kids rather than anyone who has ever had divorced parents.   At first, my research question was, “What are the effects of a divorce on individuals?” The topic was too broad so as one can see I changed it so it would focus on the effects of children. Another way I had the question worded was, “How do individuals act after experiencing a divorce between their parents?” This topic was also too broad because it does not focus on one group of individuals. Also, everyone has a different way of coping when it comes to something like a divorce so that would be very difficult to fit into one research paper.

Although choosing a research topic is a very difficult task, I believe that the techniques the handbook suggests are very useful. It made the task a lot easier and was less stressful than past experiences I have had with choosing a research topic.

Research Narrative Part 3: Creating my search strategy

My research question is, “What are the effects of divorce on children?” Therefore, I chose the keywords divorce, effects, and children. I chose these words by looking at my research question and picking out the most important parts. When I typed them into SuperSearch, I found over one thousand results, but that was too many. Some of the articles that were found did not even relate to my research question, so I needed to be more specific. Therefore, I decided to choose three more words. This time I chose separation, parents, and kids. These keywords managed to find many more specific articles and decreased the results to about one hundred and eighty different documents. One thing that really helped to bring down the number of results are the boxes that you can check on the left-hand side of the SuperSearch page. I decided to limit my results to academic journals. I also changed the range of publication dates from 1945 through 2014 to 1995 through 2015. This resulted in a lot more modern articles that related to my situation. So, I thought it would make my research more interesting for myself. Something else that helped to find more specific articles was when I typed in SuperSearch, “effects of divorce on children.” The quotations helped to bring the results from the thousands to about four or five results. Also, all of the results that were found actually related to my topic rather than having a couple that had absolutely nothing to do with my topic. The process of choosing key words and figuring a search strategy can be difficult, but SuperSearch makes it quite easy. Writing down many different keywords and brainstorming phrases that I could type in the search bar helped me out the most. Also, decreasing the amount of results was not that difficult due to SuperSearch having a way to set a limit on what I wanted to search for.

Research Narrative Part IV: Annotation

Type of Source

Article in Academic Journal

Reference Page Entry

Arkes, J. (2013). The temporal effects of parental divorce on youth substance use. Substance Use and Misuse, 48(3), 290-297.

Search Strategy

To locate my article, I went to SuperSearch and typed in the keywords: effects, divorce and children. Also, in order to decrease the amount of results that SuperSearch found, I clicked on the scholarly journal article check box on the left of the screen. I checked in both locations to specify the database or collection that the article was located in, but I was unable to find it.


In the article, Arkes begins by stating certain statistics about married couples and children who experience divorce. Also, he points out three key results of a child or teen going through divorce. The first one says that when a child has both of his or her parents, his or her attitude and conduct is better than a child who only has one parent around. The second argument is, that when parents divorce the child becomes distant. This causes the child and its parent to not have a decent relationship with one another. The third argument is that if a child experiences a divorce between his or her parents, he or she may try to cope, but it may be in a bad way. He or she could start using drugs or doing things that are not very smart.

Later on in the articles, Arkes goes into detail about the fact that there are differences that have not been discovered between families that have issues and commotion and families that stay together. He believes that it is still not entirely certain that the reason for children doing drugs is because of commotion in their families or because of the differences between disruptive families and families that have stayed together.


One way I knew that my source was trustworthy is that the source is published in a scholarly journal. I realized that this article was good for my research because it takes the topic that I want to write about and looks at it from a different perspective. The author of the article seemed to be very trustworthy and reliable. Not only did he give a lot of information on children that have gone through a divorce, but he also provided many samples and methods that helped him study the correspondence between a parental divorce and a child’s use of drugs.

Research Narrative Part V: Annotation

Type of Source

Scholarly Journal Article

Reference Page Entry

Nicolae, I. (2014). The personal effects of divorce in regard to minors. Jus et Civitas, 65(2), 23-30

Search Strategy

In order to find this article, I once again used SuperSearch. In the search bar I typed the keywords: effects, problems, parents and children. I clicked the check box for scholarly journal articles again. I checked for the collection that the article may have come from, but once again it was not available.


Ioana Nicolae’s article is mostly about the effects on a child after experiencing his or her parents separating through the perspective of the law. She starts her article by talking about the authority rights that each parent has over the child when a divorce takes place. She talks about how one parent, the one that the child lives with, has all rights to any kind of authority over the child. The other parent is only allowed to have certain “connections” with the child. The article dwells on how much a child’s life is altered once he or she has experienced having separated parents. The article goes into detail about the entire process of choosing which parent the child will live with based on the court’s decision rather than his or her own decision. In conclusion, the article really focuses on the fact that parents should solve their differences after going through a divorce in order to make it easier for the child to cope with the entire event.


This source is credible due to the fact that it came from a scholarly journal. It really focuses on the point of how a divorce cannot only affect a child mentally, but also physically. It points out that the parents need to focus on what is best for their child. I could tell that Nicolae was an expert due to the amount of solid information that she put in her article. The article did not just have little facts here and there. The article has laws and written principles about parents who go through divorce and what they must do about their child during the process. This article contributed a lot of technical information that I was not aware of. I believe this article was definitely appropriate for my topic because it talks about the technical part of a divorce rather than just emotions and problems that a child experiences during the separation of his or her parents.

Research Narrative Part 6: Annotating a Source

Type of Source 

Magazine Article

Reference Page Entry

Coontz, S. (1997, November 17). Divorcing reality. Nation 21-24.

Search Strategy

This time when I searched for the article I used different keywords. I used the keywords: kids, divorce and problems. Most of the other articles that I have found are scholarly journal articles. Therefore I decided to look for something different. On the left side of the SuperSearch page, I limited my search to only look for magazine articles about children and divorce. The database that the article was located at was the Political Science Complete.


In this magazine article, Stephanie Coontz begins by talking about a new law in Louisiana about divorce. It states that when two people get married, the law enforces an agreement that the couple will not divorce their spouse unless there are problems with adultery, physical or sexual abuse, alcoholism or a year’s abandonment. She then goes into detail about a certain study that Judith Wallerstein performed. Wallerstein studied the effects on children after their parents had divorced and came to the conclusion that fifty percent of the kids had long-term issues that caused them problems as they got older. The main point of this magazine article is to show that the kids that go through a divorce between their parents have a rough time getting adjusted and most of the time have long-term issues. Coontz uses Wallerstein’s results from her study in order to prove the point that couples should try to stay together or create an “alliance” so that their children do not have to experience the results of a divorce.


I know that this source is credible due to the fact that there is lot of research information in this article. I also know that this source is appropriate because it goes into detail about how parents should tolerate each other for the kids so that in the long run they will not have issues from going through a divorce between their mom and dad. I can tell that author of this article is an expert based on the amount of information that she provides about children and divorced parents. Also, the author attended Evergreen State College, which is a good sign that she knows what she is writing about. I feel like I can trust the expert, Stephanie Coontz, because she provides a lot of facts about certain studies with children and the divorce of their parents. Also, she graduated from a great university, which is always a good sign.

Research Narrative Part 7: Annotating a Source

Type of Source

News Article

Reference Page Entry

Changes coming in Manitoba to child support laws and issues around custody. (2015, June 3). The Canadian Press.

Search Strategy

This time I went to SuperSearch and clicked the News checkbox on the left-hand side of the page. Then I typed in the search bar the four keywords: parents, divorce, child and issues. This brought up many articles so I slid the date slider to 1995 and up in order to decrease the results a little bit. The news article is from the database called Newspaper Source Plus.


The article discusses the laws that Manitoba has proposed about children with divorced parents. The article talks about the enforcement of child and parental support and the process of custody. The article focuses on the fact that what happens to the child is the most important part of a divorce. The main reason for the new laws in Manitoba is to keep the child safe during a divorce that may feature disruptive or abusive parents. It provides ways for a child to be kept out of danger from one or both angry parents that are going through a rough divorce with one another.


I believe that this source is very credible due to the amount of information that it gives about certain laws and regulations that are being considered in Manitoba. This article is appropriate for my research topic because it shows the actions that are being taken in order to protect children who could be affected from a divorce between their parents. The author of this article could be an expert, but more than likely he or she just gathered all of this information from somewhere and put it in an article. Although, if the author is an expert, than his or her information is very relevant because it discusses the consequences that some children face and how to protect them from those consequences when a divorce takes place. I believe that I can trust the experts that may have contributed to this article because the information that they gave are hard facts that were not just made up out of nowhere.

Research Narrative Part 8: Self-Assessment as Researcher in CORE 102

To me, the topic that I chose for this research project was very interesting. I enjoy how my topic relates to something that has happened in my life. I also like to compare how other children reacted to their parents’ divorce with the way that I acted about my own parents’ divorce.

As a researcher, I believe that I have developed many strengths while working on this project. I have learned quicker and easier ways to look up articles that are actually relevant to my topic as well as scholarly. One tool that I became newly acquainted with was SuperSearch. It was very helpful when I could not find sources on the Internet or in books. Also, I have always known how to take information from a source and put it into my own words rather than having to worry about plagiarism.

Although I have developed many strengths, I also have a few weaknesses when it comes to research. Something that I need to work on is improving my vocabulary. Also, when it comes to paragraph structure, I tend to have some trouble with that. Another thing that I have had lot of trouble with is citing sources. Throughout high school I learned many different ways to cite different sources, but this research project has helped me a lot with learning the correct way to cite things.

Some of the strategies and tools that I was already acquainted with were entering keywords into Wikipedia. Throughout high school, searching for keywords on Wikipedia has helped me locate scholarly sources in an easier and simple way.

Overall, I really enjoyed this project. It helped me develop better research skills and also helped me improve the way I write research papers. I also had the opportunity to learn about a topic that relates to me personally, which was very interesting. This project has helped me to improve as a researcher and I hope to learn more about research from the future projects.


Researched Argument

Jordan Kelley

Radford University


People are debating whether musicians are being fairly compensated for the use and distribution of their songs on music streaming services. The internet has created new problems for the music industry and the growing argument among the industry is whether artists are receiving equitable and compensatory wages. How much do streaming services pay artists and is it fair? It is a question that has been asked a lot lately of services such as Spotify, Mog, Rdio, Rhapsody and even iTunes. Many believe the payment that streaming services offer for the use or download of a song does not justly compensate the artist. More successful musicians are able to continue with less money paid from the streaming services and websites, however, emerging new artists are not able to survive on the small compensation they receive from the streaming services. In order for every artist, highly successful or just starting out to be compensated fairly, music streaming services and downloading sites need to pay equitable wages for the use and download of an artist’s song.

One of the early issues within the music industry was the use of peer-to-peer file sharing, also known as P2P, which allows people to share and download music they have not paid for. P2P file sharing was brought to the mainstream by Napster, one of the first services that allowed music downloading without equitable compensation, before being forced to shut down due to legal difficulties over copyright infringement (Goel, Miesing, & Chandra, 2010). Even with stiff legal consequences, people continue to download music for free and illegally. Both the volume of music acquired illegally and the resulting drop in revenues are staggering.  Digital sales, while on the rise, are not making up the difference. While downloading one song may not feel that serious of a crime, the accumulative impact of millions of songs downloaded illegally, and without any compensation to all the people who helped to create that song and bring it to fans, is devastating. After Napster was shut down along with a few other P2P services, streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, and numerous others began to pop up on the internet offering free music streaming with very little compensation being paid to the artist. The debate is still raging today. Is the amount of royalties being paid to artists or songwriter’s equitable compensation, especially when you consider how these streaming services continue to flourish while the emerging new artist continue to struggle.

One of the key issues in today’s debate over streaming services is how does free downloading of music affect record sales. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), music sales have dropped 53% since P2P and Napster first began in 1999 and only 37% of all music in the U.S. is actually being purchased through retail sales (Tyler, 2015). The RIAA also began by filing charges against as many as 35,000 people during a five year span which caused courts to start applying the Copyright Act to cases involving digital copyright infringement (Moseley, 2010, pg. 5). In addition to the RIAA report, the Pennsylvania Law Review stated, “In 1999, overall music sales reached a peak of $14.6 billion in total revenue. By 2009, that number had fallen to only $6.3 billion. CD sales in the United States exceeded 785 million albums in 2000 but by 2008; total album sales had decreased by almost a third” (Tyler, 2015, p. 2). This clearly shows a reduction in the earnings of musicians who rely on these sales to make a living and continue to make music. Although some people report that they then go out and purchase the songs after downloading them, most do not and simply continue to illegally download songs regardless of whether they enjoyed a song or not and choose not to support the artist.

The use of streaming services and illegal downloading sites leave many artists struggling to be successful. Most of the more successful musicians are able to continue despite the meager amount of money paid for their music on the streaming services, but the emerging, less successful artists cannot.  Emerging artists are left with very little monetary support and are not successful enough to compensate their income by touring on a large scale with live shows. For example, Zoe Keating, a recording artist, reported that she had 403,035 plays of her songs on Spotify and but only earned $1,764. The artist, Galaxie 500, whose song “Tugboat” was played 5,960 times on Spotify yet the 3 songwriters report that they earned only $1.05, leaving each with only 35 cents profit for their hard work (Gonsalves, 2015, p.21). These statistics attempt to shed light on the issue of streaming music payouts to artists, as part of the wider debate on whether streaming services can generate a sustainable income for musicians. Streaming services claim that they have paid out substantial amounts to the labels and publishers. Spotify has reported paying out as much as $2 billion to labels and publishers since there debut but there is a large disparity between this and the amount that artists are claiming to have received. (Gonsalves, 2015, p.21)

Some argue that the downloading of free music can lead to the discovery of new artists and thus lead to additional sales. However, this does not help the current artist whose songs are being downloaded for free, and even if this leads the consumer to download a new artist’s music, they will continue to do so for free and now neither artist is benefiting financially from their music being downloaded. Streaming services may lead a consumer to new artists, but these only increases the number of people affected by the illegal downloads. If they have not paid for the music of one artist, what incentive is there to pay for the music of the next artist they find? A person who illegally downloads a song to simply “try it out” does not have any reason to then go out and buy the entire CD or even just the song as they now already have it. Nobody is going to buy what they can stream for free. By charging a fee or increasing the royalties paid for the download of a song or album, the company is assuring that they are able to compensate the artist and themselves rather than allowing the consumer to determine whether or not they want to buy it simply on merits. Between 2004 and 2009, around 30 billion songs have been illegally downloaded, and have not resulted in a rise of sales based on whether or not the person downloading the songs likes them or not. The RIAA has reported that the music industry has lost around $12.5 billion in revenue, which has resulted in many people working behind the scenes to be laid off with the RIAA reporting 71,000 jobs being lost because of illegally downloading music (Butler, 2007).

Compounding this issue is the idea that free downloading could lead to a potential rise in concert ticket sales. This has also been proven untrue. The steady decrease in record sales has forced the artist to turn to performing live to support themselves and increase the ticket prices for their concerts drastically, which has made it impossible for many consumers to afford concert ticket prices. Now the majority of an artist’s income is coming from touring and doing live shows, in contrast to the past, when most musicians were making a majority of their money from record sales before the introduction of P2P in the music industry. If streaming services were regulated and made to pay equitable royalties to the artist, the cost of concert tickets would decrease. The artist would then rely less and less on the live shows for income, and would allow more consumers to afford the cost of concert tickets. If change doesn’t happen soon, ticket prices will continue to rise and the appeal of a career in the music industry could begin to fall, with many emerging new artist never getting to a level that allows their music to be heard on a broad scale and leading to less and less new and varied music.

Recently, Taylor Swift joined the ranks of many artists that are trying to change the way streaming services operate. She wrote in an open letter to Apple, who planned to stream all music without compensating the artist for 3 months. In her letter, Swift says,

This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs (Mansbridge, 2015).

Her words resonate with many artists, and Apple quickly reconsidered their stand and is now compensating the artist. This has become a chance for artists to finally reclaim their art and is a rare victory for musicians who have seen their earnings from recorded music steadily decline in the digital age (Mansbridge, 2015).

Regulation of music streaming services will ensure that emerging new artists are treated fairly and receive equitable wages, making a career in the music industry even more appealing and ensure that new artists are given a fair chance at success. This will lead to an even larger variety of music and will ensure that the consumer and the artist are satisfied. Streaming isn’t going anywhere. How it will become a viable revenue source for artists may determine the future of the industry. So the debate rages on, and the issue of music streaming services and illegal downloading sites not paying an equitable wage for the use and or download of an artist’s song isn’t going away any time soon. Taylor Swift said it best in her letter to Apple, “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation” (Mansbridge, 2015).


Reference Page

Butler, S. (2007, Septemeber 8). Piracy Losses. Billboard, 18-18.

Goel, S., Miesing, P., Chandra, U. (2010). The Impact of Illegal Peer-to-Peer File Sharing, 52(3), 6-33.

Gonsalves, A. K. (2015, March). Music Licensing. Licensing Journal, 20-22.

Mansbridge, P. (2015, June, 22). Taylor Swift’s biting Apple letter is followed by artist royalties’ change. National (CBS Television)

Moseley, W. (2010). A new (old) solution for online copyright enforcement after Thomas and Tenenbaum. Berkeley Technology Law Review, 25(1), 311-346.

Tyler, N. S. (2013). Music Piracy and The Diminishing Revenues: How Compulsory Licensing for Interactive Webcasters Can Lead The Recording Industry Back To Prominence. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 161(7), 2101-2150

For additional examples, see the Winesett Research Award winners.


Kelsey Cross

Approaches to oral Argument Assignment

Radford University


Speeches can be considered a vital part of relaying various kinds of information to an audience. A verbal delivery of information can even sometimes be more effective in either persuading or informing and getting new ideas across that have not yet been thought of. Providing a well thought out main claim along with numerous supporting claims that can provide evidence can really make for a great speech. Other factors such as organization tactics and practice can help reinforce what is being said. In this case, I watched a speech entitled “Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I am a model” given by Cameron Russell, a well-known supermodel and runway model for the past 10 years. Russell delivered this speech on a show of sorts called TED Talks.

When it comes to TED Talks, I am actually quite familiar with this type of presentation because my father coaches speakers for this program and this first hand background knowledge helped me gain a better insight on how exactly these are run and the possible demographics of the audience. A TED Talk is set up so the speeches are no longer than 15 minutes each and people from all over the country can come in and listen to numerous speakers address all different kinds of topics. Whether it is neuroscience to fashion, all of these vast subjects can be presented in the same day. This being said, I came to the conclusion that the audience does not know much about the fashion industry and how it truly works. The audience knows only what the media portrays like most of the general public. Russell showed a clear understanding of this in the way she approached her speech. She used the stereotype that the general public puts on models to her benefit to help prove her point even from the very start of the speech.

Russell really tried to stress that the idea of the fashion industry is so misconstrued. The general public doesn’t understand what exactly this industry is truly about. One of the most interesting things she did at the very beginning of her speech was an outfit change. Russell had on a tight fitting dress and very tall high heels which she changed into a very conservative skirt and sweater. After doing so Russell explained that she could change your overall opinion of her in under 6 seconds just by switching her clothes while others are incapable of doing so. This was a very interesting and captivating way to begin a speech and to give some insight into what her speech will be about. It grabbed my attention and I wanted to see what else was to come. I thought it was a very effective way to demonstrate the main claim. She later then talked about how insecure she is because she received things and services she has not earned only because of how she looks while others have to pay the cost. All her life she has gotten out of traffic tickets, given free food, and free clothes. Along with all the free incentives, she talks about how being a model is not a career path. When people ask her how she became a model she brings up an interesting point, she won a genetic lottery being a white, skinny woman.

It took some thinking when it came to identifying what type of speech this was. With careful consideration I decided that it was more of an informative speech. The reason I decided this was because Russell was not trying to persuade others opinions on the fashion industry or make them believe something new but more so she was trying to inform them of the honest truth about the industry. In most informative speeches there are many facts thrown at you along with corresponding statistics to help reinforce what is being said to you. I could make the assumption that in this informative speech there would be a little of this along with (given her professional outlook) some first-hand accounts. Russell did not have very many statistics and facts that went along with them. Yet the ones she did have had to do with a person’s personal image. Russell pulled up some facts about traffic stops in New York City and how your race and gender play a huge role in them. However, she used more imagery and first-hand knowledge to get her points across. With that being said, I believe that Russell can be considered a viable source because she has been in the industry for 10 years though it may be more effective if she had more models views on the industry as well as her own.

There were many great points Russell gave throughout her speech. However, her delivery in my opinion was subpar. Russell should be used to “performing” or being in front of an audience but at some moments it was painfully obvious she was uncomfortable. She had many awkward pauses and nervous laughs. She had a great message and a great idea but she had a lot against her to begin with. Our society doesn’t view models as intelligent woman which is a common stereotype. With the assumption that this is an audience with no fashion background, I would assume they think the same. When it came to her organization I felt it was a tad hard to follow. Russell seemed to bounce from each supporting claim without much detail. She relied very heavily on her images, which were effective, but did not have much statistical background on anything she said. Though as I had previously stated she is a reliable source because of her experience with the industry, it would have been much more effective if there were a few different types of sources or other models perspectives. Her nerves got the best of her in many situations, yet it was obvious that she did put effort into her speech and practiced. However, by not exuding confidence it does make the audience question her reliability and does not hold their attention well.

Russell’s vocal delivery was in my opinion decent but could have been better. As I had previously stated, it was obvious she was very nervous. Her rate of speech was very quick almost as if she was trying to rush through. She did a very good job with pronouncing and articulating everything in her speech. This helped to maintain a sense of credibility and it showed that she practiced the speech. One of the things I thought she did very well was explaining terminology the general public wouldn’t understand. Symbols were present throughout the speech in various forms. She used pictures and her outfit change to her advantage to help reaffirm her point. Russell pulled up some of her magazine covers and alongside those she had pictures of herself on the same day, a normal “dorky” kid on the right and the only version the media shows of her on the left. Russell showed that these covers are not her, they are an engineered version of her. With the help of hair and makeup artists they take her, a blank canvas, and create her into the image they want and the image that will fit the brand.

Russell had a great idea and it was an idea that hasn’t been explored but her nervous behaviors and lack of sources made this informative speech less effective. I do think it could have been presented better. In the future using more sources would be greatly useful and I would conduct maybe a few interviews of fellow models to examine their view points on the industry. The main claim was present and the supporting claims with the use of symbols, especially the side by side pictures, was a very effective way in showing that models are engineered into what is needed by the campaign ad or the brand. This was an interesting speech and with a few more sources, better organization, and better physical presentation skills (calming nerves, body language, etc.) Russell would have been much more successful in presenting this informative speech.




Russell, C. (2012, October). Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model [Video]. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talk/cameron_russell_looks_aren_t_everything_believe_me_i_m_a_model






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