Chris Abani TED Talks Compassion and Humanity Composition essay

1. Please watch Chris Abani’s talk on TED Talks. (Link below)”

2. Prompt:

Consider a time in your life when you showed compassion to another person. Or, consider a time in your life when someone showed you compassion.

As Chris Abani tells us: “We’re never more beautiful than when we’re most ugly.”

In you composition, describe what this quote means to you and write about a time in your life where you showed (or where showed) humanity/compassion. What did this experience teach you about yourself? How does compassion/humanity assist you in your life?

You can consider Abani’s stories he shares in his Ted Talk. You may also use the South African term he uses – Ubuntu – which states, “the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me.”


  • Directly and persuasively address the essay prompt
  • Show insightful and nuanced thinking


  • Have a controlling central idea (thesis) and overall coherence
  • Use clear topic sentences
  • Contain focused paragraphs that support the controlling central idea (thesis)


  • Use relevant examples with clear explanations of what the examples demonstrate
  • Have explanations in body paragraphs clearly linked to controlling idea of essay
  • Include specific supporting evidence
  • Show strong synthesis, argumentation, analysis, and/or problem-solving skills


  • Skillfully use a variety of sentence structures
  • Show extensive, varied, and appropriate vocabulary


  • Contain minimal syntactic, grammatical, and spelling errors