- English 302 Advanced Composition
Metaphor Writing Assignment
Write a cohesive essay analyzing
the two articles on metaphors. Begin with an appropriate introduction which
sets up your purpose. Provide logical transitions between paragraphs. Support
your points with evidence from the texts. Let your readers, me and your
class members, know what points you are addressing by using topic sentences
for each new point of inquiry. When you analyze the articles, don't "lump"
them together - if you find similarities, of course, mention them, but
also try to address the specific points of analysis in relation to each
article. Don't deal entirely with one text and then the other. Weave them
both into your critique in relation to each point of analysis. Be sure
your reader knows to which article you are referring (don't identify by
"first" or "second"). Don't get into what article you think is "better";
that's not our objective. Stretch your thinking skills; dare to be creative
in your approach.
Goals for this assignment:
Anne Eisenberg in "Metaphor
in the Language of Science," Scientific American, May
1992, and John M. Lawler, in his lecture
We Compute By, both discuss the use of metaphors when describing scientific/technological
concepts. Do a close reading of both texts; analyze them according to the
points below. Base your essay on the points below.
to become a better writer, of
course, since that is what this course is all about
fine tune your reading and critical
develop an awareness of how
audience and purpose affect the choices writers make regarding voice, language,
style, format, supporting evidence
build upon your ability to synthesize
material and use supporting detail/evidence to support your points
explore the use of metaphors
in your major
What is each author's purpose
for writing the article? What is the controlling idea (the thesis? - the
primary message each is trying to convey)? Yes, they are both about metaphors,
but each is unique. Try to come up with a brief summary (no more than a
few sentences) of what each author's main points are.
What do you know about the authors?
What is each author's connection to his or her subject? Is there area of
expertise evident in their texts through kinds of examples, approaches
to the subject?
Who is the audience for each
Are there any clues in the
readings which identify the audience? Beyond the more obvious clues, look
at the language and supporting detail the author's use to support their
assertions. Do the authors make assumptions about the knowledge base of
their audiences? If they do make assumptions about their audience's knowledge,
in what areas do they assume their audiences are knowledgeable and what
examples in the text support your assertions? Do you find one text more
easy to read and understand? Why? Why not? What sources, if any, were you
not familiar with? Did this hamper your ability to relate to the texts?
"Listen" to the author's "voices"
as you read their texts. Do the authors write from personal experience?
Does the author use first person, "I," or does the author remain removed
from the subject? Does the author use slang, irony, humor? How would you
describe their "voices"? Do their "voices" change? Can you give some examples
of a shift in voice and why you think this occurs? Are there clues in the
publications and purposes of the texts?
How is each article organized?
Are there any obvious clues to how the material is organized? How does
the formatting affect your reading of the texts? Beyond the obvious, briefly
explain how the material is organized in each text.
As an addendum to your paper,
discuss what you learned about metaphors from reading these two texts.
What are some metaphors you use in your everyday life? Identify some metaphors
in your major and discuss one or two with which you are familiar and how
they may help clarify a concept in your field to someone not in your field.