Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Metacommentary

     Metacommentary is a style used by a writer to help the reader understand what s/he is saying.  These include warding off misunderstandings; elaborating; roadmap showing where one is from and where is headed; moving from a general claim to a specific; indicating importance of a claim; explanation when the writer expects objection and wrapping up issues. To complete the exercise, I will refer to “Hidden Intellectualism” by Gerald Graff.
     Graff uses metacommentary like transitions where he uses “whereas” and sums up by using “in short.” He also uses general claim, for example, he says he hated books and cared only for sports. But above all he has elaborated a lot in the essay using more words to explain the previous sentence like, “…the fact that we associate those street smarts with anti-intellectual concerns. (We associate the educated life, the life of the mind, too narrowly and exclusively with subjects and texts that we consider inherently weighty and academic”) (elab).
     Yes, the author uses word for word when he sums up saying, “In short, I was your typical…” and also “School competition, in short, reproduced…” – the word used are “in short.”
     Other forms of metacommentary are used in the essay. To sum up he has used “Consequently, I failed to see…” He has also anticipated objection and has used different ways to explain;
          -To be sure, school contained…
          -But if this argument suggests why…
          -If I am right, then schools and colleges…
All these can be used in similar sentence constraction.
     The authors use of metacommentary has enhanced his writing making such a scholarly writing to be engaging. To put it another way, he has elaborated almost all the sentences he has written. My conclusion then is that as informative as the essay is, he has opened it up giving the reader room to both understand and reflect on the issues at hand.    

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