In his paper entitled iSmart: The Commodification of Intelligence, author Bao Tran-Phu connects education in todays society directly to the amount of money one has. He begins by stating the fact that people in the United States who have higher levels of education almost always make more money than those with less education. However, he goes on to explain that higher education and in turn wealth, breeds further higher education and high income. Education in that sense becomes a “family treasure” that not all people are able to obtain after a certain level. Likewise, Bao Tran-Phu describes how the level of education in public schools around the country varies depending on the economic situation in the surrounding area. Areas with higher levels of income tend to have better schools, and the children at those schools are able to afford more helpful educational tools such as tudors. However, areas with low levels of income tend to have worse public schools, keeping the children in those schools from receiving the same level of education as the wealthier kids. Bao explains that education and intelligence in America have become commoditized and are controlled by those who have them.
Tran-Phu does a brilliant job using metaphors and imagery to convey his point to the reader. As with most scholarly writing, his paper had a central theme that he supported and explained throughout the paper, but the metaphors he uses and the imagery utilized enables him to more easily and effectively convey his central theme. In my writing, I did not use many metaphors or very much imagery due to the scientific nature of my paper, but I certainly could have used more. In his writing, Tran-Phu does a great job using the work of others to better support his case for the reader. He uses scholarly examples and evidence to help explain his main theme and uses a logical progression of thought to make his ideas as easy to understand as possible. In my writing, I usually try to be as straightforward and easy to understand as possible, but perhaps I could have used more specific examples as Bao Tran-Phu does in his paper.
Tran-Phu, B. 2010. iSmart: The Commodification of Intelligence. Deliberations 11: 16-20.
I like the way you described how Tran-Phu was able to get his point across through the use of metaphors and imagery. I agree with you that since our papers are scientific, these methods of captivating the audience are not as important, but there may be places to put them in.