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They Say, I Say
Transcript of They Say, I Say
They Say, I Say
Ideas that Matter in Academic Writing
Part 2: "I Say"
"Yes/No/Okay, But": Three Ways to respond
"They Say": Starting with what others are Saying
Use templates to help prove your points.
"Her Point Is": The Art of Summarizing
Frame Every Quotation
Templates for introducing quotes
At the core of this book is the premise that good argumentative writing begins not with an act of assertion but an act of listening, of putting ourselves in the shoes of those who think differently from us.
Agree--but with a difference
"And Yet": Distinguishing what you say from what they say
"So What? Who Cares?": Saying Why it Matters
"AS He Himself Puts It": The Art of Quoting
Use the templates to introduce what "They Say"
What have you heard your whole life? "My whole life I have heard it said that ________"
Use templates to make what "They Say" something you say: "I've always believed that _______"
Keep returning to what "They Say" in your essay.
A summary must at once be true to what the original author says while also emphasizing those aspects of what the author says that interest you, the writer.
Balance what someone else says and your own interests as a writer
Use signal verbs that fit the action--list of these verbs on pages 39-40 in They Say, I Say.
Quoting someone else's words give a tremendous amount of credibility to your summary
Quotes do not speak for themselves
Choose quotes wisely
Every quote must be surrounded by a frame explaining whose words they are, what the quotation means, and how the quotation relates to your own text.
What "they say" must always be connected to what YOU SAY
Statement that introduces the quote that includes who is speaking and set up what the quotation says.
The follow up statement should explain why you consider the quotation to be important.
X States, ____."
In Her Book, ____, X maintains that "____."
In X's view "_____."
Templates for Explaining Quotes
Basically, X is warning that ____.
In other words, X believes ____.
X's point is that ____.
"I Say" stage is where you offer your own argument as a response to what "they" have said.
It is always a good tactic to being your response not by launching directly into a mass of details but by stating clearly whether you agree, disagree, or both, using a direct, no-nonsense formula such as: "I agree," "I disagree," or "I am of two minds. I agree that ____, but I cannot agree that ____."
Support why you disagree
X is mistaken because she overlooks ____.
By focusing on ____, X overlooks the deeper problem of ____.
Even as your agreeing, it's important to bring something new and fresh to the table, adding something that makes you a valuable participant in the conversation.
A lot of times, agreeing with someone will mean that you disagree with someone else.
I agree that ____ because my experience at ____ confirms it.
X's theory of ____ is useful because it sheds light on the difficult problem of ____.
Readers need to be able to tell when you are expressing your own view and when you are stating someone else's
Use "voice markers" to indicate different perspectives
To avoid confusion in your own writing, make sure that at every point your readers can clearly tell who is saying what.
My view, however, contrary to what X has argued is that ____.
Most athletes/politicians/actors will tell you that ____.
Have you ever gotten the impression that writing well in college means setting aside the kind of language you use in everyday conversation? That to impress your instructors you need to use big words, long sentences, and complex sentence structures? If so, then we're here to tell you that it ain't necessarily so.
Blend academic and colloquial styles
Consider when the different styles are appropriate
Rather than assume that audiences will know why their claims matter, all writers need to answer the "so what?" and "who cares?" questions up front.
____ use to think ____, but recently experts suggest that it ____.
This interpretation challenges the work of those critics, who tended to assume that ____.
Make sure to also answer "who cares?"
When you step back from the text and explain why it matters, you are urging your audience to keep reading, pay attention, and care.