Date of Award

12-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Dively, Ronda

Abstract

This content analysis assesses the insight facilitating capacity of some very common inquiry-based writing activities (featured in today's mainstream first-year college composition texts). It accomplishes that assessment by using three language-based insight facilitating methods--one centered on metaphor, another on opposition, and the other on paradox--as evaluative lenses. The position of this study is that these methods--advanced by widely published scholars in the fields of science, psychology and business as effective insight facilitators--can shed light on development opportunities (where insight facilitation is concerned) in the design and protocol of the writing activities selected for analysis. The outcome is ultimately a comparison of sorts drawn between key insight facilitators at work in the proven methods and comparable features capable of eliciting insight in the writing activities. While the analysis aims to show just how effectively insight facilitation is prompted in the selected writing activities, it also--through its evaluative lens--suggests ways the activities could more effectively do so.

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