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They Say, I Say- Section 2: "I Say"
Victoria Thrashon 29 October 2012
Transcript of They Say, I Say- Section 2: "I Say"
3 Ways to Respond Chapter 5
Distinguishing What You Say and What They Say Chapter 6
"Skeptics May Object"
Planting a Naysayer in Your Text Chapter 7
"So What? Who Cares?"
Saying Why It Matters The Three Ways to Respond: Disagree -"X is mistakes because she overlooks recent fossil discoveries in the south."
-"X's claim that... resists upon the questionable assumption that..."
-"I disagree with X's view that... because, as recent research has shown..."
-"X contradicts herself/can't have it both ways. On the one hand, she argues.... On the other hand, she also says..."
-"By focusing on ..., X overlooks the deeper problem of..."
The "Duh" Move
-"It is true that...; but we already knew that."
The "Twist-it" Move
-"X argues for stricter gun control legislation, saying that the crime rate is on the rise and that we need to restrict the circulation of guns. I agree tat the crime rate is on the rise, but that's precisely why I oppose stricter gun control legislation. We need to own guns to protect ourselves against criminals." Templates for Disagreeing Agree Templates For Agreeing Agree and Disagree Simultaneously Templates for Agreeing and Disagreeing Simultaneously Is Being Undecided Okay? *"If good academic writing involves putting yourself into dialogue with others,it is extremely important that readers be able to tell at every point when you are expressing your own view and when you are stating someone else's."
*Move from what they say to what you say without confusing readers about who is saying what. Determine Who is Saying
What In The Texts You Read To avoid confusion in your own writing, make sure that at every point your readers can clearly tell who is saying what.
When writers fail to use voice-marking devices, their summaries and others views tend to become confused with their own ideas and vice versa. Templates For Signaling Who
Is Saying What In Your Own Writing Avoiding Using the Word "I" +To alert readers about whose perspective you are describing at any give moment you don't always have to use overt voice markers like "X argues" followed by a summary of the argument; instead you can alert readers about whose voice you're speaking in by embedding a reference to X's argument in your own sentences Another Trick for Identifying
Who Is Speaking Templates for Using Voice Markers "...Even though most of us are upset at the idea of someone criticizing our work, such criticisms can actually work to our advantage. Although it's naturally tempting to ignore criticism of our ideas, doing so may in fact be a big mistake, since our writing improves when we not only listen to these objections but give them an explicit hearing in our writing." "Skeptics May Object" Identify the opposition before others point it out. Anticipate Objections Templates for Entertaining Objections Templates for Naming Your Naysayers +Objections can be addressed in more informal ways, such as in the form of a question Templates for Introducing
Objections Informally +Try not to mock or hurry past objections, it can be counter productive your argument
+Put yourself in someone that disagrees' point of view, then alter your tone if you feel it comes off to harsh
+If you choose to mock, you may alternate the people who don't agree with you Represent Objections Fairly Answer Objections Templates For Making Concessions
While Still Standing Your Ground +"All too often... [the answers to the 'so what?' 'who care?'] questions are left unanswered- mainly because writers and speakers assume that audiences will know the answers already or will figure them out on their own."
+Speakers need to address the crucial questions as to why their argument matters as this could lead to interesting and engaging answers
+Writers need to answer the "so what?" and "who cares?" questions up front
+Writers who fail to show that others should care or already do care about their claims will ultimately loose their audience's interest
+The two questions both get at the same thing: the relevance or importance of what you are saying, but in different ways
-"Who cares?"- asks you to identify a person or a group who cares about your claims
-"So what?"- asks about the real-world applications and consequences of those claims Saying Why It Matters Who Cares? Templates for Indicating Who Cares So What? Templates For Establishing
Why Your Claims Matter Is Being Undecided Okay? What About Readers Who
Already Know Why It Matters? +By inserting critic's possible objections into your work, you will (1) disarm your critics by making a preemptive strike on them, (2) show the respect you have for your readers, and (3) come across as broad-minded who is confident enough to open their work up for debate
+By ignoring your counterarguments/objections, you will (1) come across as closed minded, (2) leave important questions hanging and concerns about your argument unaddressed, and (3) may find that you have very little to say
Ex. "Oh no, they're gonna say I have misrepresented X's work!"
"You will probably object that I have misrepresented X's work here, and I concede that X never says_____ in so many words, nevertheless." (Figure 5) +Be able to answer objectives persuasively
+Make sure your counterarguments are not more convincing than your own argument; an example of failing to overcome an objection is by saying "That's just wrong."
+Best way to overcome an objective is to agree with a part of it; an example is saying things like "yes, but..." 1. Agree
3. Combination of Agreeing and Disagreeing +Begin your response by clearly stating your stance on the subject
+The best responses take strong stands
+Contribute something to the conversation +You can't simply say that you disagree, you also have to offer persuasive reasons why you disagree
+To turn it into an argument, you need to give reasons to support what you say
+In fear of conflict, state your disagreement in a blunt but considerate way Two Moves for disagreeing: 1. The "duh" Move- where you disagree not with the position itself, but with the assumption that it is a new or stunning revelation
2. The "twist-it" Move- where you agree with the evidence someone has presented but show through a twist of logic that the evidence actually supports your own, contrary position +State why you agree
+Add something new and fresh to the table that makes you a valuable participant in the conversation
+Open up some difference or contrast between your position and the one you're agreeing with rather than simple repeating what it says -"I agree that diversity in the student body is educationally valuable because my experience at Central University confirms it."
-"X is surely right about... because, as she may not be aware, recent studies have shown that..."
-"X's theory of... is extremely useful because it sheds light on the difficult problem of..."
-"Those unfamiliar with this school of thought may be interested to know that it basically boils down to..."
Agreeing While Positioning Yourself Against Others
-"I agree that..., a point that needs emphasizing since so many people still believe..."
-"If group X is right that..., as I think they are, then we nee to reassess the popular assumption that" +It gives you a platform while keeping your argument sufficiently complex
+This approach can be slanted more toward agreement or disagreement, it does not have to be split down the middle
+You need to be as clear as possible The "Yes, but" Move:
Stress More Disagreement
-"Although I agree with X up to a point, I cannot accept his overriding assumption that religion is not longer a major force today."
Stress More Agreement
-"Although I disagree with much that X says, I fully endorse his final conclusion that.."
The "No, but" Move
-"Though I concede that..., I insist that..."
-"X is right that..., but she seems on more dubious ground when she claims that..."
-"While X is probably wrong when she claims that... she is right that..."
-"Whereas X provides ample evidence that..., Y and Z's research on... and... convinces me that... instead."
The "I am of two minds" or "mixed feelings"Move
-"I'm of two minds about X's claim that.... On the one hand, I agree that.... On the other hand, I'm not sure if."
-"My feelings on the issue are mixed. I do support X's position that..., but I find Y's argument about... and Z's research on... to be equally persuasive." +Yes, but saying "I am of two minds" or "mixed feelings" is bad, being ambivalent can confuse or frustrate your readers, but it can also demonstrate your writing skills in a positive way
+You need to be clear in your statements, making a frank statement that you are ambivalent is one way to be clear +As a reader you need to be alert to often subtle markers that indicate whose voice the writer is speaking in; "voice markers," as they might be called, are used to distinguish the different perspectives
+Paying attention to voice markers is an important aspect of reading comprehension, readers who fail to notice these markers often take an author's summaries of what someone else believes to be an expression of what the author himself or himself believes. Example of Voice Markers in Text "We are all middle-class," or so it would seem. Our national consciousness, as shaped in large part by the media and our political leadership, provides us with a picture of ourselves as a nation of prosperity and opportunity with an ever expanding middle-class life-style. As a result, our class differences are mutes and our collective character is homogenized.
Yet class divisions are real and arguable the most significant factor in determining both our very being in the world and the nature of society we live in.
Gregory Mantsios, "Rewards and Opportunities: The Politics and Economics of Class in the U.S." Gregory Mantsios uses "voice markers" in his essays on America's class inequalities -"Although X makes the best possible case for universal, government-funded health care, I am not persuaded."
-"My view, however, contrary to what X has argued, is that..."
-"Adding to X's argument, I would point out that..."
-"According to both X and Y,..."
-"Politicians, X argues, should..."
-"Most athletes will tell you that..." +If you consistently avoid the first person in your writing, you will probably have trouble differentiating your views from those of others, or even offering your own views in the first place
+Certain occasions may warrant avoiding the first person Templates for Avoiding Using the Word "I" -"X is right that certain common patterns can be found in communities."
-"The evidence shows that..."
-"X assertion that... does not fit the facts."
-"But... are real, and are arguably the most significant factor in..." Example:
DO NOT- "Liberals believe that cultural differences need to be respected. I have a problem with this view, however."
DO- "I have a problem with what liberals call cultural differences" or "There is a major problem with the liberal doctrine of so-called cultural differences." +Embedded references like these allow you to economize your train of thought and refer to other perspectives without any major interruption. -"X overlooks what I consider an important point about cultural differences"
-"My own view is what insists is a... is in fact a..."
-"I wholeheartedly endorse what X calls..."
-"These conclusions, which X discusses in..., add weight to the argument that..." + Someone criticizing your work can work to your advantage
+ Putting objectives in your writing can make it better +Note: the objections in the templates are attributed to "skeptics," "readers," or "many." These nameless and faceless naysayers are perfectly appropriate.
+Naysayers, however, can be labeled, and you can add precision and impact to your writing by identifying what those labels are. -"At this point I would like to raise some objections that have been inspired by the skeptic in me. She feels that I have been ignoring the complexities of the situation."
-"Yet some readers may challenge my view by insisting that..."
-"Of course, many will probably disagree on the grounds that..." -"Here many feminists would probably object that gender does influence language."
-"But social Darwinists would certainly take issue with the arguments that..."
-"Biologists, of course, may want to question whether..."
-"Nevertheless, both followers and critics of Malcolm X will probably suggest otherwise and argue that..." +Make sure the labels you use in addressing your naysayers don't inappropriately ignore individuality and promote stereotypes, to minimize the problem of stereotyping you could refine them such as by saying: _"Non-native English speakers are so diverse in their views that it's hard to generalize about them, but some are likely to object of the grounds that..."
-"Although not al Christians think alike, some of them will probably dispute my claim that..." -"But is my proposal realistic? What are the chances of its actually being adopted?"
-"Yet is it necessarily true that...? Is it always the case, as I have been suggesting, that..."
-"However, does the evidence I've cited prove conclusively that...?" +Have the naysayer speak directly; make sure the speaker (you or your opposition) is clear to the audience at all times -"'Impossible,' some will say, 'You must be reading the research selectively.'" -"Although I grant that the book is poorly organized, I still maintain that it raises an important issue."
-"Proponents of X are right to argue that.... But they exaggerate when they claim that..."
-"While it is true that..., it does not necessarily follow that..."
-"On the one hand, I agree with X that.... But on the other hand, I still insist that..." Example:
Scientist used to think body fat and the cells it was made of were pretty much inert, just an oily storage compartment. But within the past decade research has shown that fat cells act like chemical factories ans that body fat is potent stuff: a highly active tissue that secretes hormones and other substances with profound and sometimes harmful effects...
In recent years, biologists has begun calling fat an "endocrine organ," comparing it to glands like the thyroid and pituitary, which also release hormones straight into the bloodstream.
-Denise Grady, "The Secret Life of a Potent Cell" -"This interpretation challenges the work of those critics who have assumed long ago that..."
-"These findings challenge the work of earlier researchers, who tended to assume that..."
-"Recent studies like these shed new light on..., which previous studies had not addressed."
-"But who really cares? Who besides me and a handful of recent researchers has a stake in these claims? At the very last, the researchers who formerly believed... should care."
-"If sports enthusiasts stopped to think about it, many of them might simply assume that the most successful athletes.... However, new research shows..."
-"These findings challenge neoliberals' common assumption that..."
-"As a first glance, teenagers might say.... But on closer inspection...." +These templates help you create a dramatic tension or clash of views in your writing that readers will feel invested in and want to see resolved +The best way to answer such questions about the larger consequences of your claims is to appeal to something that your audience already figures to care about.
+ The "So what?" questions asks you to link your argument to some larger matter that readers already deem important Example:
"Internationally, more than a billion people are overweight. Obesity and two illnesses linked to it, heart disease and high blood pressure, are on the World Health Organization's list of top 10 global health risks. In the United States, 65 percent of adults weigh to much, compared with about 56 percent a decade ago, and government researchers blame obesity for at least 300, deaths a year."
-Denise Grady "The Secret Life of
a Potent Cell" -"Huckleberry Finn matters/is important because it is one of the most widely taught novels in the American school system."
-"Although X may seem trivial, it is in fact crucial in terms of today's concern over..."
-"Ultimately, what is at stake here is..."
-"These findings have important implications for the broader domain of..."
-"If we are right about..., then major consequences follow for..."
-"These conclusions/This discovery will have significant applications in... as well as in..."
-"Although X may seem of concern to only a small group of ..., it should in fact concern anyone who cares about..." +By suggesting the real-world applications of your claims, the templates not only demonstrate that others care about your claims but also tell your readers why they should care. What About Readers Who Already Know Why It Matters +If you take for granted that readers will somehow intuit the answers to "so what?" and "who cares?" on their own, you may make your work seem less interesting than it actually is and you run the risk that e readers will dismiss your text as irrelevant and unimportant
+Although some experts might already know about your claims, even they may need to be reminded
+When you step back from the text and explain why it matters, you are urging your audience to keep reading, pay attention, and care.