Proverbs in the Academy: A Folklore Studies Activity for the Writing Classroom
Abstract

A primary research activity involving proverbs is detailed and recommended for use in writing classrooms to promote higher-order thinking and analytical skills closely tied to effective academic writing. It is argued that the interrogation of proverbs cultivates among less-experienced writers some analytical and linguistic skills that correspond with academic writing demands. It is also argued that the examination of such popular forms of expression further allows such writers to experience the convergence of their vernacular and academic discourses. The directed examination of popularized linguistic expressions is further postulated as having the added benefit of impressing upon less-experienced writers that language—far from being a uniform, reliable, and static means of communication—is actually an evolving system of signification that to various degrees reveals meaning to be contextually bound and socially relative.


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