Quick Write

What is activism? What are modern protests that you can think of?

Gladwell “Small Change”

Malcolm Gladwell “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

Gladwell discusses the arguments promoting social media as a key component in social activism starting in paragraph 7. He says, “The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coordinate, and give a voice to their concerns.” He discusses revolutions in Moldova and Iran and quotes a former senior State Department official who believes social media can be used to fight terrorism. He brings up these opposing views (his “they say”) after an extended description of the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-ins. He begins to refute these views in paragraph 8.

High-risk activism, McAdam concluded, is a “strong-tie” phenomenon. . .

. . . But weak ties seldom lead to high-risk activism.

Gladwell argues two main points as the differences between Traditional activism and Online activism:

  1. Weak-tie vs. Strong-tie
  2. Online activism is not an hierarchical organization
2/2/60 Greensboro, N.C.: A group of Negro students from North Carolina A&T College, who were refused service at a luncheon counter reserved for white customers, staged a sit-down strike at the F.W. Woolworth store in Greensboro 2/2. Ronald Martin, Robert Patterson and Mark Martin are shown as they stayed seated throughout the day. The white woman at left came to the counter for lunch but decided not to sit down.
woolworths sit in
Sit-in participants are bullied and have food and drinks dumped on them.

Argument Prompt

Argumentative Essay Prompt


  1. Evidence, S.T.A.R.
    • Sufficient
    • Typical
    • Acceptable
    • Relevant
  2. Rhetorical Questions
  3. Signposts
    • Transitions and connections
  4. Pre-buttals
    • Anticipate objections and answering


Evidence: facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.

Different disciplines use different kinds of evidence. We can use a text, field research, or experiments as evidence.

Experimentation: science involves the systematic study of claims tested, designed to yield particular observations.

Examples: a previous sample used as evidence.

  • Real events drawn from history.
  • Artificial or hypothetical cases cannot be used for evidence but can be used for persuasion.

Analogies: a kind of comparison that asserts things that are alike in some ways are alike in others.

Authoritative Testimony: citation or quotation of authorities.

Statistics: numbers and data used to support claims.

  • Graphs, Tables, Numbers
  • Statistics can be misused and can be seen as misleading.
  • Unreliable statistics, looks impressive but is insubstantial or irrelevant.

Famous Arguments

Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream Speech”

Is his speech successful?

How does he build Ethos?

Where does he use Pathos?

Identify uses of Logos.