writing: the subject continued

I’ve been going through comp student lists of possible topics of study and am finding pretty standard stuff, which is fine. The question is what to do with an idea. I have one topic called: cars. Hm. What do with that.

Lots of things. Here’s one.

Thinking from the subject is a skill of extension, which is why I try to have students visualize with maps or clusters of ideas.

Consider this list which stems from autos:

Speed, marketing, fuel cells, vegetable oil, instrustry and the environment, the politics of transportation, urban planning.

All of these would be great topics of concern. For essay writers and poets by the way. I find the image of a person gassing up behind the local McDonalds quite invigorating.

6 thoughts on “writing: the subject continued

  1. Beverly

    In today’s Hartford Courant there is an article, “Vehicle Values Go In Reverse,” that I think has a lot to do with gas prices that are not mentioned in the article. It says most towns are facing the decline in motorvehicle values (very rare)that will not help their budgets. These assessors usually expect revenues in this area of taxing. Out of the many factors causing this, they say one is the great “deals” on new cars that are loosing the interest of used car buyers. If this is true, we should be able to get some excellent deals on used cars soon. The last line of the article contradicts the loss of value in used car theory by saying “Perhaps people are deciding they don’t need a new car this year.” I think an interesting factor comes from the fact that manufacturers are still pushing the gass guzzling SUV’s and the public is leary of the unpredictability in gas prices. The new car market has not made much effort in consoling the public with promising new technology for fuel efficiency or alternatives. I think we are just holding on to what we’ve got because the same thing is sitting in the showroom. Who knows if waiting for changes in technology will make a difference any time soon.

  2. gibb

    Man, I don’t want to get involved in an argument, but I drive an SUV — a ’97 Honda CRV, and my husband an ’03 CRV. They get 26 – 28 mpg. They are safe, reliable and maintain their value so the town of Burlington makes out as well.

    The story is always there. And there are many, many different versions.

  3. Beverly


    I am guilty as charged. I own a gas guzzling Grand Marquis. But since we are a family of five that has lived with one car for nearly 10 years, I don’t feel so bad. We have been looking for a second car for commuting, and we have been waiting for a “breakthrough” like the electric car was suppose to promise. I don’t think the hydroge-water thing will happen anytime soon. I recently test drove a Satun Ion, but was supprised that it only got 23 mpg in the city.

  4. ersinghaus


    You can actually concert your car to run vegetable oil now. The exhuast smells like french fries.

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