The Tropes We Tutor By: Names and Labels as Tropes in Writing Center Work

Scott R. Sands, Illinois State University

Imported from ProQuest Sands_ilstu_0092E_11264.pdf

Abstract

The following study explores the way names and labels function as tropes in writing center work. Building on Lakoff and Johnson’s work on metaphors, and using Kenneth Burke’s concept of the trope, this study analyzes the way names and labels for writing center spaces, people, activity, and preparation function metaphorically, synecdochically, metonymically, and ironically to shape the way people understand and value writing centers. This study demonstrates the ways in which names and labels used in writing center work both focus attention on particular aspects of that work and also minimize or hide other important aspects of that work. Ultimately, this study argues that the names and labels currently in use do not accurately reflect writing center work, and encourages scholars of writing center studies to either fully extend labels in use or adopt new labels. The final chapter suggests a framework by which those in writing center studies can select and articulate metaphors ethically, consciously, and with purpose.