Read about the basic concept of “inventing ideas” in Chapter 1 of The Composition of Everyday Life (CEL).
In the CEL, the authors, John Mauk and John Metz, point out that “inventive thinking” is essential to the basic acts that all citizens in a democracy are expected to do: analyze, debate, and try to deeply understand everyday issues (7). Invention, as they define it, is the act of generating new ideas and adding “dimension” to these issues that affect our everyday lives (4). Invention is also “the engine behind good writing,” as they say, because it helps us discover what we are passionate about and what we have to offer to the world around us.
For this activity, you will begin to put your own inventive ideas to work as you think critically about what you have to offer to several topics that are important to you or to your surrounding community.
Look over the list of topic ideas in the CEL p.22. Find a topic thread that interests you and write out responses to the following questions (using several long sentences for each).
- How does the concept change people’s lives?
- What emotions and behaviors does it prompt in other people?
- How does it affect others’ everyday life?
- What makes it more complicated than people typically think?
- How do people disagree about the topic?
- Why should people understand it?
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