I Understand: Connecting Concepts to the Author and Audience
“Concepts are the special terms, the jargon, that insiders use and that anyone who wants to become part of the conversation needs to learn (128).” They are what help us understand and assess. Conceptions act as an invaluable relatable learning material. A universal tool used to connect with individuals of certain interest bringing ideals into their own realm. A point may be made in argument to a group of people pointing out different concepts to different people when elaborating on a subject. Concepts are relayed through connecting topics of relation to the reader.
In the case of Linh Kieu Ngo’s essay on cannibalism, Cannibalism: It Still Exists, he discusses the concept of cannibalism being more than just a method of survival. The idea that the purpose expands beyond the constraints of desperate times and can be known to actually be practiced for purposes of diet and religion. Here Ngo uses concept to enlighten those ignorant of cannibalisms roots to show the prevalence in our history.
Examples are made through conceptions. In Ngo’s essay he depicts a scenario that happened to Vietnamese refugees escaping the communist grips of Vietnam. Fleeing away from their country they become stranded on boat and resort to eating human flesh in order for survival. Using the real time circumstance of desperation Ngo is connected to the reader, causing them to understand the drive for such an act. Through concept he causes the reader to comprehend his information rather than stating cannibalism may be used for survival without example.
A variety of situations over the course of history depicted in the essay give visual connection to the concept being discussed concerning cannibalism. The learning connection of giving several anecdotes to illustrate the origins and purpose for cannibalism. Necessary examples of concept give the reader something to absorb. Grasping a subject can prove difficult without a portrait to hold onto.
Concept connection becomes exemplified again in Rich A. Friedman’s piece, Born to Be Happy, Through a Twist of Human Hard Wire, when he touches upon the subject posing a psychiatric mirror to chronic depression, hyerthymia. Hyperthymia causes certain individuals to have a constant positive disposition and outlook on life. Friedman proposes the concept of how a person goes about achieving happiness. He does this by detailing both ends of the spectrum and elaborating on their causes. Using examples of depressed dysthmia patients Friedman relates the disposition of those who are affected by hyperthymia, connecting the concept using relatable terms.
A concept of how the application of storytelling affects the evolution of the human race may be done effectively through connecting example. In Jeremy Hsu’s The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn he portrays the universality of storytelling through cultures throughout history using references from prehistory hieroglyphics to modern day movies. A concept developed through relating topics.
The special terms of concepts provide explanation via the reader’s interests. The use of such a tool acts as a vital task for the author to connect to their audience. The strategy allows their message to be conveyed using a strategy that integrates your idea into the reader life.
Writing Strategy: The persuasive piece opens with a statement that directly describes what the essay will discuss, almost as if acting as a thesis. While grabbing the reader’s attention the sentence also sharply tells the reader what will be argued. This technique gives the essay a strong informative feel that reassures the topic. After reading the first line I became intrigued in the topic of concepts and how they play a role in language and life. The topic sentence molds to not only the whole piece, but the pieces that follow.
This technique can be used in multiple ways in my own writing. I can use the strategy to strengthen my introduction paragraph, strengthening my thesis. By instantly grabbing the reader with what the essay elaborates on firmly, I can lead into a powerful thesis that has clarity.
I may also take advantage of this technique when writing fiction. Were I to write a narrative in first person I could begin with a statement that immediately opens with what I will discuss, rather than a technique that grabs the reader imprecisely.