The second learning outcome for this course is for students to “be able to integrate their ideas with those of others using summary, paraphrase, quotation, analysis, and synthesis of relevant”. For me, this process has been strengthened greatly through the writing of the papers in this class. Specifically, in my first paper about the impact of metaphors on people, I started to use quotes more effectively and by my final draft had been able to select relevant quotes that supported my argument. In the following paragraph taken from my first paper, I weave Michael Erard’s ideas throughout my writing:
“Michael Erard works as a metaphor designer, as he explains further in his work “See Through Words”. Erard states that metaphors are not meant for the purpose of persuasion, but used with the intentions of showing people new perspectives that they had never seen before. Michael Erard emphasizes the point of metaphors being used as a window to show the reader a different view of a topic. They are versatile, and able to be conjured up by anyone who sees the connection when “one thing belongs with another” – it does not matter how you get there (Erard). In fact, Erard mentions one method of metaphor creation that involves making lots of “pseudo-mistakes”. The first step in the process is being comfortable enough to allow yourself to create many pseudo-mistakes, because eventually they end up being quite the opposite of a mistake. “There’s no dictionary for these, you have to build them yourself” (Erard). However, some pairings of things are “unacceptable” in society. When designing a metaphor, one must be sensitive to their audience, because the audience is sensitive to the metaphor. As Erard says, “the right metaphor must speak to inclusion and community, and suggest some benefit, such as health or opportunity…”. It is crucial to remember that “metaphors that over-simplify [a subject]…obscure reality”, which can lead to the overlooking of the bigger picture when it comes to the effects our choice of words can have on individuals, especially when it pertains to such serious things like our wellness.”
Though, looking back, I feel I could have expanded a little bit more at the end of the paragraph with my own thoughts, I believe I did well with integrating and selecting the relevant and supportive information out of Erard’s essay and used it to my advantage. I feel each connection to Erard’s thoughts had a clear place in my argument. I had found it difficult to successfully choose what was important out of the sources we worked with and to integrate it within my essay. In my final draft, I see a difference in my ability to do these things. In such a short time, I was surprised at how much I had developed from my high school writing. As I progressed through this English class, I was able to work on my expansion of my own ideas within the paragraphs I had included sources in as well to support my thesis.