5 March 2010
Entering The City of Dis, Again
I wanted to pay attention to one aspect of my writing that seemed to be lacking in the last portfolio. Concision is pretty much, cutting the fat off the meat. In doing so, I was able to be more specific and spread my message across quicker and more efficiently. So, in actuality by being concise I was able to work on more relevant aspects of my writing. Concision revealed particular points that may have needed emphasis if they were surrounded by metacommentary, an influx of adverbs, and “space invaders.”
Particularly I focused on delivering my thesis rather than beefing up what lies around my central claim. Stated in my post-write, I wanted to finalize my thesis and have my peers help me put a firm grasp around an argument. Most of the comments of my peers arose from questions I asked them in workshop, so from there I worked on concision to stab right into my claim. Argumentatively, I did not have much because I was trying to piece together two claims, city as a metaphor and as a body of Hell. From my first draft I was able to trim around to pull my central claim to the front and release it early in the final draft.
Are we only supposed to read the allusions of the city or can we also find yet another relationship between the city and the permanent citizens of Hell? The overall question being: Is there a relationship between Dante’s use of a city as a metaphor of Hell and the body illustrated by the citizens residing in The Inferno.
This thesis and series of questions seemed implicit as one of my peers mentioned therefore, I cut it out ensuring that I was not just throwing “fluff” to try and deliver my argument. Instead, in my final draft, I tied both of my ideas into one sentence to increase my delivery and concision.
Ultimately, Dante creates a complex world when he draws out the structure of Inferno, so it is only fair to pick apart what is apparent: the city, and model that into a larger idea: the body politic.
Included are my oral presentation comments and prospectus. What mainly helped me centralize an argument and thesis were the preparations of brainstorming. My prospectus has my ideas in paragraph format, to ensure that some type of proposal was at hand. I knew that I wanted to focus on the city metaphor, but not until questions were answered in workshop and during my oral presentation was I sure of my claim.
My specificity has to do with my writing because relating back to the central theme is a difficult task. Not having a clear thesis creates a spectrum of confusion and so does non-concision matters. To attack this problem, I focused on sentence-to-sentence transitions, so that my audience doesn’t lose sight of what is exactly being claimed. In some instances helping my writing consisted of inputting a transitional word such as “Ultimately” to segue into my thesis. At other times it was larger add-ons to emphasize what exactly I was arguing.
Overall, I mainly specified what I was trying to argue without confusing myself with an overcrowding of words and without losing my audience in the process. So with the help of my prospectus and oral presentation I was able to centralize my claim in order to keep my transitions and order specific. My delivery came early in the paper and I went back to my thesis several times. In conclusion, my concision and specificity helped me finalize my draft into a more coherent argument rather than just a story.