Friday, February 5, 2010

RA Topic and 1st Paragraph- Austin Huntsman

When asked what was the significance of winning the Nobel Peace Prize as an African woman, Wangari Maathai replied, “I think that the Nobel committee had a message to send to the world - that there is a strong link between sustainable, accountable, and equitable management of resources and governance” (Cahill 1). Her organization, The Green Belt Movement, focuses on environmental conservation in an effort to “plant seeds of peace” (Maathai 151). The article “Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech,” by Wangari Maathai, succeeds in persuading its audience to promote environmental conservation through its use of effective literary devices, pathetic arguments, statistics regarding The Green Belt Movement’s work, and a positive outlook on the future.

Word choice, tone, and the imagery used in her article all play a large role in convincing the audience that this is a cause worth supporting. The word choice in this article seems to have been selected very carefully and for specific reasons. When referring to the deforestation in Africa, she tends to use words such as “degradation”, “destroy”, and “devastate”. These words all present the idea that the act of deforestation is terrible and is only harming the environment. It doesn’t allow you to consider the idea that maybe the deforestation is necessary. Another important example of good word choice includes her use of positive terms when talking about the ability of the African people to make a difference. Some examples of these terms include “empowered”, “overcome”, and “take action”. These words all help the average person to feel as if they can truly make a difference in the fight against deforestation and take a step towards peace.


  1. I thought this was a very good start. You had a good intro and started off in format with your first thing discussed in your thesis. The only thing that I would probably change is rather than saying "pathetic arguments" I would say the use of emotional appeals, or something along those lines. Also for the bad D words like degrdation and destroy, you could put a bit more emphasis on just that. Saying that the Author specifically chose to use words that start with a d to emphasize the deforestation as a bad thing. Overall very good though.

  2. I think you have a very good thesis, but i also agree that you should change "pathetic arguments." You have a good start on your first paragraph, but you need to elaborate a lot more on the words and how they are effective.

  3. It may be that I am not familiar with this topic or article but I was a little confused with the last part of your thesis. Are you saying that her positive outlook on the future is helping her persuade her audience? I think it is a great start to a paper though.

  4. good job picking out some words that helped describe how she felt.
    are there any other uses of literary tools that you can use? maybe you'll address others in the next paragraph but using more than word choice would be better I do believe.

  5. In those d words, did she use them randomly, or was it in alliteration, that could be something to touch on.

    I like your use of her outlook as a persuasive tool, I would go in depth there about how her credibility and already using emotional appeals set her up to tie the knot by having a postive outlook and boosting the morale of her audience after she depresses them.


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