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They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in…

"They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (Third… (original 2006; edition 2014)

by Gerald Graff (Author)

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1,146811,377 (4.08)3
Overview: 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?… (more)
Title:"They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (Third Edition)
Authors:Gerald Graff (Author)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2014), Edition: Third, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing by Gerald Graff (2006)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
On a re-read, I like this a little less the second time around. Still good, though. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
This is a very useful guide that introduces students to the basic concepts of argumentative writing at the college level. Graff and Birkenstein stress that students remember they are not writing in a vacuum but rather to a particular audience as part of a larger ongoing conversation. Some of the templates they provide for students to incorporate into their writing are a little clichéd, sure ("On the one hand... On the other hand"), but they will help students who are only beginning to learn how to write critically.

(It's not, after all, necessarily an intuitive skill—one of the things that left me confused and anxious as an undergrad was getting back papers with comments that read, in their entirety, "More analysis." Now when I look back at my earliest work, I can see clearly what my professors meant; then, I thought that that was what I was doing and couldn't figure out how to do better.)

Graff and Birkenstein's templates are like training wheels for student writers, helping them to formulate ideas in ways that are new to them and hopefully to be discarded as composition and analytical skills improve. "They Say/I Say" is also a useful book for instructors to read, as it provides several reminders of the kinds of things that may now be second nature to us but which are likely to be stumbling blocks for students. ( )
1 vote siriaeve | Aug 2, 2016 |
This "textbook" is very easy to understand and super easy to read. It gives you helpful tips on how to write better. For example it teaches you to summarize, quote, and so much more. After reading this book I feel like a better writer already. ( )
  klara333 | Mar 7, 2014 |
They, Graff and Birkenstein, say that writing well is a lot like entering a conversation. It involves listening to what others have said and summarizing it, fairly, prior to stepping up to add your own true, smart, logical statements or opinions (the I say) which may be in agreement with, at odds with, or both in agreement and disagreement with different aspects of what the they have said. The thesis is presented through a sensible division of chapters into the salient points, first, on how to layout what “they say,” e.g. with the art of quoting, moving on to a variety of ways to enunciate and clarify what “I say”, and rounding things off with some useful chapters tying it all together.

I say that this is an excellent and helpful book for students, whose advice, if followed could alleviate stress, low grades and tears, as one makes one’s way through academia. The only chapter I found less than convincing was chapter nine on the use of vernacular or argot in academic writing. But perhaps that is due to cultural differences for a non-American reader/student, or because I am now more than 20 years away from direct classroom experience. In any case, the book as a whole should be of great service to students and educators. ( )
1 vote RandyMetcalfe | Jan 8, 2012 |
Very informative little guide about how to write more effectively. Tools to help you communicate your ideas. ( )
  NathanaelS | Aug 18, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gerald Graffprimary authorall editionscalculated
Birkenstein, Cathymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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