Creative Concept Mapping: from Reverse Engineering to Writing Inspiration

Straubel, Linda H. (2006) Creative Concept Mapping: from Reverse Engineering to Writing Inspiration. In: Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the Second Int. Conference on Concept Mapping. Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica, pp. 162-169. ISBN 9977-15-148-2

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A semi-formal meta-analysis of current research into concept mapping suggests that very few teachers are using concept mapping to help their writing students create better essays or stories. Most studies tend to focus on “content-based” subjects such as math and science. However, there is also content, and, therefore, structure in literature and writing. While some students who read prodigiously have some basic grasp of this content, most do not. To help them first realize that there is such a learnable schema of content in my domain, students work through a series of concept maps. Starting with teacher-generated maps demonstrating the relationships among such argumentative strategies as claims and appeals and such literary devices as plot, character, setting and language, my composition and creative writing students, respectively, move on to generating their own maps, or completing scaffold maps, based on essays, short stories or films. Thus they begin the process of “reverse engineering,” or “disassembling” essays and stories to analyze how their parts fit together structurally. Analyzing these primary sources teaches the basic components of exposition, argument and fiction in a more meaningful way than could be accomplished by lectures or “free for all” class discussion. From here, students use the maps as prewriting or planning documents. Finally, creative writing students use concept mapping as a peer- and self-critique device for workshop discussion and story enhancement.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, CMC2006
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Depositing User: Mr. Ernest Prats
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2012 21:00
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2012 21:07

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