ENG 3U: Taxonomies

Teenagers via Flickr, by Pierre Metivier

Over the next week, you will complete a series of exercises that will prepare you for your ultimate task: to write an illuminating, articulate, and argumentative essay.  This essay will be a taxonomy, or a classification of people, places, or things based on shared characteristics.

Today’s steps are as follows:

  1. Please read the article provided to you as you entered the room.
  2. The article contains several rhetorical devices. Once you find an example of a rhetorical device, please identify these devices so we can discuss them later. Please consider explaining the devices you’ve found in an English accent.
  3. This article contains many allusions to films and musicians from the author’s youth; however, because you are unfamiliar with these references, the allusions are not as obvious for you. Thus, I’d like you to conduct research into one of the allusions provided, and explain its use in the article. Please write one short paragraph in which you explain the allusion and your findings. (if you don’t have a device with you, pair up with someone who does)
  4. Create a short, pointform taxonomy of your own. Your taxonomy should include 4-5 items, each featuring 3-4 supporting points to explain each item. This important step will serve as the early stage of an essay you write next week; while you are not stuck with the choice you make today, a wise (and insightful) choice will help you considerably.  Last year, student taxonomies included:
    • zombies
    • trees (not species, but the role of certain kinds of trees in the writer’s life)
    • music (not genres, but how different kinds of music make the writer feel)
    • parents
    • teammates (not positions, but the personalities of different kinds of teammates)

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