A Metaphor for Research Writing

Research writing is street art on a brick wall. You take out your cans of spray-paint (ideas) and start a piece. It might be a block of color, a word, a symbol, your “tag” or a character of your own design…but is the wall blank? Perhaps someone has already started painting here, and you decide to put your own ideas next to theirs. Maybe you don’t like what they’ve done so far or what they have to say through their work and decide to start your painting on top of theirs – or maybe you paint over theirs simply because there isn’t any space left, or because you felt like it – which is okay, because there aren’t really any concrete rules when it comes to street art. The choice is up to you… The type of paint you use is important too, but when it comes down to it, good art can be made from poor materials, and bad art with the best of the best. What really matters is your concept and how you execute it. Sometimes street artists (and other artists too) bring their skills and ideas together to collaborate on a piece, and sometimes they work solo. Your research plan is your alibi if you were to have a brush with the law. The true beauty of street art may lie in its impermanence. As one of the Low Bros  (street artists and fine artists) said, “You don’t know how long the painting lasts. You take your photo and hope it will stay for a while… This free artwork can’t be owned to hang it in your living room. You have to share it.” (Quoted in an interview from Hi-Fructose magazine vol. 26, Jan. 2013). It is the same in writing and art; if not shared, how can you expect to grow as a creative person?

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About Phoebs

Phoebs is a Fine Arts student pursuing an Honors degree in Illustration.
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2 Responses to A Metaphor for Research Writing

  1. yarnelln12 says:

    I love this graffiti metaphor so much, mostly because I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it myself- I love art! I like how you used a quote to support your metaphor, because it used someone else’s view to support your own. The quote says, “You don’t know how long the painting lasts. You take your photo and hope it will stay for a while… This free artwork can’t be owned to hang it in your living room. You have to share it.” To me, this is talking about the fact that as seen in graffiti, even though one person may research a topic, someone else is going to come in behind them and research the same thing differently. Also, the information itself that is being researched may change. I also like how you said “Maybe you don’t like what they’ve done so far or what they have to say through their work and decide to start your painting on top of theirs – or maybe you paint over theirs simply because there isn’t any space left, or because you felt like it” I think that goes along with the quote perfectly. You did a great job continuing your metaphor in the way you talked about every little part of it, using smaller metaphors made the bigger picture even stronger!

  2. brownra12 says:

    I really enjoyed reading your metaphor. It was very unique and well thought out. You chose to compare cans to a writer’s ideas which was very clever. The way you talked about the wall not being blank before you put your own work up really caught my attention because I had never really thought about that. You also made it clear that writers can place their ideas on top of others if they do not like what is up there. Throughout your response I felt as if you were having a casual conversation with someone, which made me want to keep reading. Asking questions was a great idea too because it makes the reader think about what they are reading. You did a really good job of comparing all of the components used in painting to strategies in writing. My favorite part of your response was the quote you used towards the end. It has a lot of true meaning in it that supports your metaphor.

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