Exemplary Writers

Prison Heat

Directions: Please read the following five questions and then watch the John Oliver segment I have provided. This paper will be anywhere from one to two pages.


LINK TO VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fiRDJLjL94


Questions to answer in the essay:

 What is John Oliver’s main idea/argument?

  1. Who is his audience (do NOT write “the viewer.” I know that)? Be specific! By the way, Last Week Tonight airs on MAX (formerly HBO) after 10 PM. For example, the audience who views Sixty Minutes is most likely older, tax-paying, home-owning, educated adults who enjoy politics and serious news topics. We know this because number one, the show airs at 6:00 PM on Sundays (rather early) on CBS (not known for their appeal to younger viewers), and they highlight such ideas as the war in Ukraine and the cost of Medicare, subjects younger folks may not be interested in.
  2. What two words would you use to describe his tone, in general? Why? Back up your idea with evidence.
  3. What concession does he make (remember that a concession is acknowledging your audience’s argument and/or giving credit to your audience about their point of view)?
  4. To conclude, what is his main appeal (ethos, logos, or pathos)? How do you know? Is it effective? Just choose ONE appeal.  Provide two examples from his show to support your claim. If you need a refresher on appeals, see Week Two for the video.

Be sure to:

Use third person – he, she, they, him, it, etc.

Refer to John Oliver by his full name when first referencing him. Upon subsequent references, just refer to him as “Oliver,” the host,” “him,” etc — not “John.” You don’t know him, so don’t refer to him by his first name.

Please use literary present tense: “Oliver BELIEVES that. . . “or “His main appeal IS.”

Do not use the god-awful phrase “would be” or “would have to be” as in (“The appeal would be” — instead,  write:”The main appeal IS”).

The title of the show is italicized (Last Week Tonight) but the episode title is placed in quotation marks “Prison Heat.”

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