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Friday, October 03, 2008

Jacob Says...

Peer Centered Response

“A Metaphor is a Glorious thing”

I like metaphors. A lot. They make explaining essay writing a lot easier sometimes.

Say, for example, the writer’s essay seems to kind of sort of linger around the point a little, and the essay’s language feels a bit convoluted because the writer’s kind of trying really hard to stress something or something else about a certain subject, but the writer is not really sure how to kind of phrase it in an adequate way so that said point comes out clear and concise-like.

Voila—Burger King Metaphor.

Say you’re at a Burger King drive-thru. You’re there for one reason and one reason only—to get a Whopper. When the employee says, “Welcome to Burger King, how may I take your order,” what do you say?

--“I want a Whopper.”

Not

--“Well, I think I’m going to get a hamburger, but I don’t want it to be too small or too large, so I’m probably going to go with the Whopper please.”

The BK employee is the reader. The customer ordering the food is the writer. It is the writer’s (customer’s) responsibility to get his or her point across clearly so that the reader (BK employee) knows exactly what he or she is talking about.

That’s what we’re going for with college-level essay writing. Not “dumbing it down” per se, but rather keeping language in an understandable context. How do we remember to do this when we’re writing? Burger King Metaphor. Be bold with your writing. Don’t feel you have to hide want you want—i.e., a Whopper—with super tedious sentences. Be precise. Affirmative. Uncomplicated.

More to come in following posts…

3 comments:

  1. I like metaphors, too! The challenge for me is trying to think of something that hasn't been used before or is cliche.

    How do you train your mind to think of unique metaphors in relation to what you are writing?

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  3. I like the BK metaphor, Jacob. And, I might "borrow" (or steal) it in consultations to come.

    Sometimes, I read or listen to a student's essay, and, although I know what they're saying, I also know it'd be stronger if the language was simpler. The BK metaphor would be perfect for addressing these situations.


    Almost on subject...

    The other day, I read a student's paper aloud. In every paragraph, there were many six-plus syllable words, half of which I had never heard of. While I was sure that the writer knew how to pronouce them and what they meant, I had a really hard time understanding the paper--and READING it aloud.

    I'd stumble and stutter, and he'd correct and explain. I felt really stupid. We talked a little about word choice, but it wasn't the main topic. It should have been a larger piece of our conversation, though.

    The BK metaphor would've been an effective way to enter into the word choice, reader's comprehension conversation...

    Alisha

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