ERIC Number: ED281204
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Teaching the Use of Metaphor in Science Writing.
Anderson, Philip M.; Sunstein, Bonnie S.
A freshman writing assignment sequence encouraged students to use metaphors to think their way through scientific topics, improving their writing skills in the process. The students were all women, aged 18 to 48 years, who had been journal writing for several months but who did not consider themselves competent readers or writers. Reading material was chosen for its use of metaphors to explain scientific topics. The writing component began with the students' own sometimes sketchy technical and scientific knowledge. At first, the students simply explored their topics. Later they were required to shift psychologically from the writer's or participant's role to the reader's or spectator's role. This revision stage also included shifting from the transactional to the poetic and from simile to metaphor. The students found that metaphors made a fluent connection between their personal experience and a scientific model, and they were encouraged to reflect on how they had benefitted from the stages of the assignment sequence and to examine their own cognitive growth. In the final stage, they wrote about their rhetorical choices and the thinking strategies they had used. The students agreed that their writing and grasp of the subject matter were improved by the use of metaphorical writing and thinking processes. (Fourteen references are included.) (AEW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (38th, Atlanta, GA, March 19-21, 1987).