The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Rhetoric and Writing: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Sharon Cogdill

Second Advisor

Rex Veeder

Third Advisor

Matthew Barton

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Voice, Rhetoric, College Writing, Paulo Freire, Adichie, “The Danger of a Single Story”


Many writing instructors use personal literacy narratives as a rhetorical site and an approach for teaching college writing in the context of definition argument. Rhetorically, students have had difficulty in defining what exactly they want to say about their personal literacy narratives where they have to clearly identify themselves and argue persuasively on issues they choose to raise in the assignment. In his Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire’s careful analysis of the teacher-student relationship reveals its fundamentally narrative character, arguing that “education is suffering from narration sickness” (71). The “narration sickness” in the education system suggests that rhetoric situated in the form of narrative can present a serious problem when the teacher takes control of telling a story or interpreting a text to students. For example, published in 2009 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk entitled “The Danger of a Single Story” is a case in point. No doubt, Freire’s pedagogical theory ushers in an opportunity and possibility of discussing the relationship between academic discourse and human discourse among other contesting theories literature, linguistics and rhetoric professors use in writing classrooms these days. In this thesis I argues that by situating Freire’s the voice of rhetoric in the reading and interpreting of Adichie’s TED talk, teachers of college writing should strive to give their students the liberating experience of expressing and transforming themselves in their own voice.