In a Tortoiseshell: In his paper for Anthropologies of Climate and Change, Liam Seeley argues that we can rethink our relationship to our changing climate by focusing on how it interacts with our lungs. Climate is not fully external to us, as air enters our bodies with each breath we take. Liam treats the lungs as a metaphor for the functioning of climate on a larger scale; the lungs offer a microcosm of the social and political facets of climate change. His essay has a particularly powerful narrative, driven by stories about how the lungs live in—and are damaged by—the world. Liam’s treatment of narrative is essential to his motive, thesis, and scholarly conversation. Continue reading
Perhaps the single most common request on Writing Center intake forms is for help with so-called “flow”. In practice, this usually leads to a discussion of motive, structure, or some other more concrete lexicon term; but in reading successful finished essays, it is undeniable that there is a certain something which makes it easier for a reader to follow the author’s argument from point A to point B. This sort of “narrative” is too unspecific to qualify as a bonafide lexicon term, but when done right, it can be very effective. In Jacy Duan’s junior paper on diversity in Hollywood, she establishes this “narrative” using a strong motive and effective orienting. In Julie Levey’s essay on the opera Brundibár,she likewise uses effective orienting to construct a compelling motive, leading the reader smoothly and effectively from evidence to thesis.
— Isabella Khan ’21
In a Tortoiseshell: In this paper, written for a Freshman Seminar, Julie Levey demonstrates how a powerful sense of narrative can enliven an academic paper and make it both convincing and compelling. As she build towards her thesis, she presents varied and conflicting perspectives and pieces of evidence before presenting her own view.
In a Tortoiseshell: In her Junior Paper, Jacy Duan explores the role of Hollywood agents in perpetuating a lack of racial diversity among actors. She carried out seven interviews with agents, which she draws on here in order to explore whether agents recognize their role as gatekeepers controlling the presence (or lack) of diversity in the industry. Jacy establishes a strong motive in her introduction and then weaves together the individual opinions of the agents into a broader narrative about diversity in Hollywood. Jacy’s treatment of narrative ensures that her argument is both accessible and engaging.Continue reading