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"They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readingsby Gerald Graff
Synopses & Reviews
As employers, politicians, parents, and other citizens lament the decline of writing skills among Americans, this little book comes to the rescue. An instant bestseller when it first appeared as a college textbook, They Say / I Say gives writers precisely what they need to know in the all-important domain of persuasive writing. Cutting through the clutter of educational diagnoses and nostrums, it goes right to the heart of what writers most need to do, and that is to listen to what others are saying (they say), summarize it, and then offer their own argument (I say) as a response. Offering user-friendly templates to help writers make these key moves in their own writing, They Say / I Say is already being called the Strunk & White of persuasive writing.
Book News Annotation:
Using this unique, portable (5x7.5"), student-friendly text/handbook, first-year composition students can respond to the arguments they read in the book's 44 engaging readings using sentence templates designed for various rhetorical situations, such as introducing an ongoing debate, explaining quotations, and making concessions. Students are encouraged to modify templates like "While some argue that--, others contend that--" for their own purposes. The handbook does not prohibit the use of the first-person in persuasive writing, and many of the templates reflect this. The collected readings touch on higher education, pop culture, fast food, sports, and the American dream, and come from current newspapers, magazines, books, and speeches. Each reading is accompanied by several questions leading students to understand how the author uses the rhetorical moves covered in the book; one question for each reading invites students to write a response. The book is illustrated with b&w photos and cartoons. In addition to many new readings, this second edition includes a chapter on writing in the social sciences. A lively companion blog offers up-to-the-minute articles on issues discussed in the book's readings, from sources such as National Public Radio and print and online magazines. Students and teachers can join the online conversation using the blog's comment feature. Graff is affiliated with the University of Chicago. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The best-selling text/reader on academic writing.
They Say / I Say demystifies academic writing by identifying its key rhetorical moves, the most important of which is to summarize what others have said ("they say") to set up one's own argument ("I say"). The book also provides templates to help students make these key moves in their own writing. This version includes readings that demonstrate those moves--and provide stimulating conversations for them to enter. The Second Edition includes an anthology of 44 readings that will provoke students to think--and write--about five important issues, including two new ones: Is Higher Education Worth the Price? and Why Does It Matter Who Wins the Big Game?
About 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, most recently, 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 and co-director of the Writing in the Disciplines program. She has published essays on writing, most recently in College English, and, with Gerald Graff, in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe, and College Composition and Communication. She has also given talks and workshops with Gerald at numerous colleges and is currently working on a study of common misunderstandings surrounding academic discourse.Russel Durst, who edited the readings in this book, is Head of the English Department at the University of Cincinnati, where he teaches courses in composition, writing pedagogy and research, English linguistics, and the Hebrew Bible as literature. A past President of the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy, he is the author of several books, including Collision Course: Conflict, Negotiation, and Learning in College Composition.
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