They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

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Overview

Identifying the moves that matter in academic writing in ways that students can readily understand and apply."They Say / I Say" shows that writing well means mastering some key rhetorical moves, the most important of which involves summarizing what others have said ("they say") to set up one’s own argument ("I say"). In addition to explaining the basic moves, this book provides writing templates that show students explicitly how to make these moves in their own writing.
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Editorial Reviews

Mike Rose
“This book demystifies rhetorical moves, tricks of the trade that many students are unsure about. It's reasonable, helpful, nicely written—and hey, it's true. I would have found it immensely helpful myself in high school and college.”
Russel Durst
“Brilliantly simple . . . adds to the argumentative strategies students already possess . . . distills the essence of academic discourse in a way that students can understand and employ in their own writing.”
Joseph Bizup
“I absolutely love the governing idea of this book. As a teacher and WPA, I'm constantly thinking about how I can teach my students-and how I can help instructors teach their students-to make specific rhetorical moves on the page. This book offers a very powerful way of doing that.”
Sarah Duerden
“A joy to read . . . like having a private tutorial with gifted teachers.”
Christine Cozzens
“I like the way the Graffs pick apart what's really happening in an argument. Many students get to college not knowing how to make the moves necessary to put forth an argument, and this book helps them work through that process.”
David Bartholomae
“The argument of this book is important-that there are 'moves' to academic writing . . . and that knowledge of them can be generative. The template format is a good way to teach and demystify the moves that matter. I like this book a lot.”
Patricia Bizzell
“Demystifies academic argumentation. I like this book very much!”
Lisa Ede
“Graff and Birkenstein's basic argument is both persuasive and congruent with my own experience: these are the moves I needed to learn as a student. A very, very smart book.”
William Smith
“The ability to engage with the thoughts of others is one of the most important skills taught in any college-level writing course, and this book does as good a job teaching that skill as any text I have ever encountered.”
Daniel Zimmerman
“Especially for beginning writers, "They Say / I Say" offers an excellent roadmap to the new world of academic discourse.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393924091
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/19/2005
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald Graff, a professor of English and education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and 2008 president of the Modern Language Association of America, has had a major impact on teachers through such books as Professing Literature: An Institutional History, Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education, and Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind.

Cathy Birkenstein is a lecturer in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has published essays on writing in College English, and, with Gerald Graff in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe, and College Composition and Communication.

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Table of Contents


Preface: Demystifying Academic Conversation     ix
Introduction: Entering the Conversation     1
"They Say"     15
"They Say": Starting with What Others Are Saying     17
"Her Point Is": The Art of Summarizing     28
"As He Himself Puts It": The Art of Quoting     39
"I Say"     49
"Yes / No / Okay, But": Three Ways to Respond     51
"And Yet": Distinguishing What You Say from What They Say     64
"Skeptics May Object": Planting a Naysayer in Your Text     74
"So What? Who Cares?": Saying Why It Matters     88
Tying It All Together     99
"As a Result": Connecting the Parts     101
"Ain't so / Is Not": Academic Writing Doesn't Mean Setting Aside Your Own Voice     115
"In Other Words": The Art of Metacommentary     123
Entering Class Discussions: A Brief Appendix     133
Readings     137
Don't Blame the Eater   David Zinczenko     139
Hidden Intellectualism   Gerald Graff     142
The Empire of Images in Our World of Bodies   Susan Bordo     149
Index of Templates     163
Acknowledgments     177
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