The Tipping Point Short Essay - Answer Key

Malcolm Gladwell
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1. How does Gladwell introduce the book? What three rules for the tipping point does the author give in the introduction?

In The Tipping Point, Gladwell follows trends from their inception to their end and tries to discover why some ideas "tip" and others do not. First, Gladwell gives the three rules for the tipping point: contagiousness; little causes can have big effects; and change happens in one moment.

2. What example does the author use in the introduction to describe his theories?

The author begins with a recent fashion trend that seemed to come from nowhere. Hush Puppies shoes fell in popularity to the point that the parent company decided to cancel the brand. When the shoes began to appear in New York City nightclubs, designers began to sell them once again.

3. What is illustrated by the author’s first example in the introduction?

The Hush Puppies brand enjoyed a new birth of success. This example illustrates the three rules of epidemics: contagiousness, little cause equals big effect, and change occurs in one dramatic moment.

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