ENC 1101, Freshman Composition I Instructions for the Analogy Essay In many ways, a basketball player … … is just like a dolphin. They are both athletic, graceful, and crowd pleasing.
Understand what this essay requires you to do. An analogy essay requires that you show the similarities between two unlike things. Easy options are the following: Compare a person to an animal. Explain how a person is like a force of nature. Show how a piece of technology is like a living thing. Explain how a scientific event mimics an everyday occurrence. Your job is to enlighten, surprise, or amuse your reader.
Think outside the box. I can’t think of anything to write for this assignment! Yo, dude, get out of the box. Thinking creatively is good preparation for all the types of writing you will do in future classes!
A person is like an animal. My lazy brother Fred is just like Killer, my dog … … All they both do is sleep, scratch, and eat.
A person is like a force of nature. … There are warning signs, high winds, and lots of destruction. My father’s anger is just like a hurricane …
Isaac, my current boyfriend, is just like a used car … … He’s unreliable, requires high maintenance, and isn’t much to look at. Yeah, but I do have a fat wallet. A piece of technology is like a living thing.
… busy when I need her, expensive if I spend too much time with her, and always “going off” when I want some quiet. A piece of technology is like a living thing. My girlfriend is like a cell phone …
In a number of ways, a traffic jam is like a heart attack … Roads are like arteries, cars are like blood cells, and an accident is like a blockage. A scientific event is like an everyday occurrence.
Papers will be rewarded for originality and thoughtfulness and penalized for banality and boringness. Papers will be rewarded for originality and thoughtfulness and penalized for banality and boringness.
Some analogies are worth a million dollars! John Searle, a modern philosopher, was asked, “Will a computer ever think like a human being?” His answer, the Chinese Room Analogy, is worth over a $1,000,000!
The Chinese Room Analogy Computer hardware = An English speaking person in an isolated room Computer software = book with instructions in English Computer user = Chinese speaker putting cards with Chinese writing into the room.
Isolated Room English speaker BOOK Instructions in English 你好， 你好 吗 ? In Chinese, this means “Hello, how are you?” 我是 優良， 謝謝。 Chinese speaker Questions: Will the Chinese speaker believe that the man in the room knows Chinese? But will the English speaker in the room ever learn to understand Chinese? Slot in wall After checking the book, the English speaker returns a card that means, “I am fine, thanks.”
Not all analogies are so complicated. What follows is the type of analogy anyone can create. Not all analogies are so complicated. What follows is the type of analogy anyone can create.
The sun = the professor Center of the solar system = center of the classroom Light and heat = information and knowledge Radiating light and heat = instruction The causes of the French Revolution are many and complicated. Got a pen? Good. First, …
Mercury = the suck up Close to the sun = close to the professor [front row, first to approach after class, etc.] Temperatures on surface = attitudes toward course material in the professor’s presence Density of planet = resistance to real learning What a great lecture today, Professor! Here, I have a little something for you!
Venus = the snob Cloud cover = student’s mysteriousness Reflective brightness = student’s demonstration of intelligence Greenhouse effect on planet surface = unwillingness to communicate Yes, darling, I do know more than you! But I have no plans to share! Get your own A s.
Earth = the good student Planet’s atmosphere = willingness to absorb new knowledge Protective ozone layer = critical thinking Presence of life = working creatively with the course material More essays? More grammar? I say bring it on, Professor!
Mars = the slacker Lack of life on planet’s surface = lack of interest in classroom activities Dust storms on planet’s surface = ineffective application of course material Similarity to Earth [atmosphere, temperature, gravity] = ability, just not classroom ability. What, I’m supposed to be in class now?
Jupiter = the returning student Energy and light of planet = real-world experiences of the student Output from planet = complementary information to the professor's instruction That might be what the textbook says, but it’s not how we do it at the job site.
Saturn = the smartass Rings attract attention = wise cracks attract attention Rings deflect interest in planet = wise cracks deflect appreciation of student’s intellect … and then the chicken says, “I’ll have a chocolate milkshake,” and …
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto = the back row gang Distance from Earth = physical and emotional distance in classroom Few known facts about them = professor's uncertainty about the learning of these students What is this guy doing?
You know the routine. Do the outline for your essay. Be sure to include a thesis statement. A sample outline exists at the course web site. Note the due date for the outline. Write the rough draft for the essay. A sample essay also exists at the course web site. Note the due date for the rough draft. Finally, note the due date for the final draft of the paper.