They Say/I Say Templates. Why Templates? Academic writing requires presenting your sources and your ideas effectively to readers. According to Graff and. They Say I Say - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. This is an excellent document to discuss negotiation tactics, especially when writing a. to set the stage for what he himself wants to say. A similar “they say /I say” exchange opens an essay about. American patriotism by the social critic Katha Pollitt.
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SECOND. EDITION. They. Say. Say. The Moves That. Matter in. Academic Writing "The best tribute to 'They Say / I Say I've heard is this, from a student: "This is. what they're saying about “they say / i say” “The best book that's happened to teaching composition— ever!” —Karen Gaffney, Raritan Valley Community College. They Say I Say Full musicmarkup.info · Home · Modules. They Say I Say Full musicmarkup.info Download They Say I Say Full musicmarkup.info ( MB). Locale: en. DocViewer. Zoom.
Your browser does not support the audio element. I desire to speak by the power of the Holy Ghost so that my words will be true and wise and proper. When any of us speak by the power of the Spirit, we say what the Lord wants said, or, better, what he would say if he were here in person. I shall depart from my normal and usual pattern and read portions of my presentation because I want to state temperately and accurately the doctrinal principles involved and to say them in a way that will not leave room for doubt or question. I shall speak on some matters that some may consider to be controversial, though they ought not to be. They are things on which we ought to be united, and to the extent we are all guided and enlightened from on high we will be.
The idea that he actually exists; 2. An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to the divine will. The attributes of God are given as knowledge, faith or power, justice, judgment, mercy, and truth.
He is indeed the very embodiment and personification and source of all these attributes. Does anyone suppose that God can be more honest than he already is? Neither need any suppose there are truths he does not know or knowledge he does not possess.
Thus Joseph Smith taught, and these are his words: Without the knowledge of all things, God would not be able to save any portion of his creatures; for it is by reason of the knowledge which he has of all things, from the beginning to the end, that enables him to give that understanding to his creatures by which they are made partakers of eternal life; and if it were not for the idea existing in the minds of men that God had all knowledge it would be impossible for them to exercise faith in him.
Heresy two concerns itself with the relationship between organic evolution and revealed religion and asks the question whether they can be harmonized.
There are those who believe that the theory of organic evolution runs counter to the plain and explicit principles set forth in the holy scriptures as these have been interpreted and taught by Joseph Smith and his associates. There are others who think that evolution is the system used by the Lord to form plant and animal life and to place man on earth. May I say that all truth is in agreement, that true religion and true science bear the same witness, and that in the true and full sense, true science is part of true religion.
But may I also raise some questions of a serious nature. Is there any way to harmonize the false religions of the Dark Ages with the truths of science as they have now been discovered? Is there any way to harmonize the revealed religion that has come to us with the theoretical postulates of Darwinism and the diverse speculations descending therefrom?
Should we accept the famous document of the First Presidency issued in the days of President Joseph F. Is it the doctrine of the gospel that Adam stood next to Christ in power and might and intelligence before the foundations of the world were laid; that Adam was placed on this earth as an immortal being; that there was no death in the world for him or for any form of life until after the Fall; that the fall of Adam brought temporal and spiritual death into the world; that this temporal death passed upon all forms of life, upon man and animal and fish and fowl and plant life; that Christ came to ransom man and all forms of life from the effects of the temporal death brought into the world through the Fall, and in the case of man from a spiritual death also; and that this ransom includes a resurrection for man and for all forms of life?
Can you harmonize these things with the evolutionary postulate that death has always existed and that the various forms of life have evolved from preceding forms over astronomically long periods of time?
Can you harmonize the theories of men with the inspired words that say: And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. Every person must choose for himself what he will believe. I recommend that all of you study and ponder and pray and seek light and knowledge in these and in all fields.
I believe that the atonement of Christ is the great and eternal foundation upon which revealed religion rests. My reasoning causes me to conclude that if death has always prevailed in the world, then there was no fall of Adam that brought death to all forms of life; that if Adam did not fall, there is no need for an atonement; that if there was no atonement, there is no salvation, no resurrection, and no eternal life; and that if there was no atonement, there is nothing in all of the glorious promises that the Lord has given us.
I believe that the Fall affects man, all forms of life, and the earth itself, and that the Atonement affects man, all forms of life, and the earth itself. Heresy three: There are those who say that temple marriage assures us of an eventual exaltation. Some have supposed that couples married in the temple who commit all manner of sin, and who then pay the penalty, will gain their exaltation eventually.
This notion is contrary to the whole system and plan that the Lord has ordained, a system under which we are privileged to work out our salvation with fear and trembling before him. If we believe and obey, if we enter the waters of baptism and make solemn covenants with the Lord to keep his commandments, we thereby get on a strait and narrow path that leads from the gate of repentance and baptism to a reward that is called eternal life.
And if we traverse the length of the path going upward and forward and onward, keeping the commandments, loving the Lord, and doing all that we ought to do, eventually we will be inheritors of that reward.
And in exactly and precisely the same sense, celestial marriage is a gate that puts us on a path leading to exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world. It is in that highest realm of glory and dignity and honor hereafter that the family unit continues. Those who inherit a place in the highest heaven receive the reward that is named eternal life. Baptism is a gate; celestial marriage is a gate. When we get on the paths of which I speak, we are then obligated to keep the commandments.
My suggestion in this field is that you go to the temple and listen to a ceremony of celestial marriage, paying particular and especial attention to the words, and learn what the promises are that are given. And you will learn that all of the promises given are conditioned upon subsequent compliance with all of the terms and conditions of that order of matrimony.
Heresy four: There are those who believe that the doctrine of salvation for the dead offers men a second chance for salvation. I knew a man, now deceased, not a member of the Church, who was a degenerate old reprobate who found pleasure, as he supposed, in living after the manner of the world.
A cigarette dangled from his lips, alcohol stenched his breath, and profane and bawdy stories defiled his lips. His moral status left much to be desired. His wife was a member of the Church, as faithful as she could be under the circumstances. I prefer to live the way I do. I know that as soon as I die, you will have someone go to the temple and do the work for me and everything will come out all right in the end anyway.
We do not sit in judgment and deny vicarious ordinances to people. But what will it profit him? There is no such thing as a second chance to gain salvation. This life is the time and the day of our probation. After this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. For those who do not have an opportunity to believe and obey the holy word in this life, the first chance to gain salvation will come in the spirit world.
If those who hear the word for the first time in the realms ahead are the kind of people who would have accepted the gospel here, had the opportunity been afforded them, they will accept it there.
Salvation for the dead is for those whose first chance to gain salvation is in the spirit world. In the revelation recently added to our canon of holy writ, these words are found: Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.
Those who reject the gospel in this life and then receive it in the spirit world go not to the celestial, but to the terrestrial kingdom. Heresy five: There are those who say that there is progression from one kingdom to another in the eternal worlds or that lower kingdoms eventually progress to where higher kingdoms once were.
This belief lulls men into a state of carnal security. The true doctrine is that all men will be resurrected, but they will come forth in the resurrection with different kinds of bodies—some celestial, others terrestrial, others telestial, and some with bodies incapable of standing any degree of glory. The body we receive in the resurrection determines the glory we receive in the kingdoms that are prepared. Of those who had the opportunity to enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage in this life and who did not do it, the revelation says: Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven; which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever. Whatever eternal progression there is, it is within a sphere. Heresy six: There are those who believe or say they believe that Adam is our father and our god, that he is the father of our spirits and our bodies, and that he is the one we worship. The devil keeps this heresy alive as a means of obtaining converts to cultism.
It is contrary to the whole plan of salvation set forth in the scriptures, and anyone who has read the Book of Moses, and anyone who has received the temple endowment, has no excuse whatever for being led astray by it. Those who are so ensnared reject the living prophet and close their ears to the apostles of their day.
And having so determined, they soon are ready to enter polygamous relationships that destroy their souls. We worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost; and Adam is their foremost servant, by whom the peopling of our planet was commenced. Heresy seven: There are those who believe we must be perfect to gain salvation. This is not really a great heresy, only a doctrinal misunderstanding that I mention here in order to help round out our discussion and to turn our attention from negative to positive things.
If we keep two principles in mind we will thereby know that good and faithful members of the Church will be saved, even though they are far from perfect in this life. These two principles are 1 that this life is the appointed time for men to prepare to meet God—this life is the day of our probation; and 2 that the same spirit which possesses our bodies at the time we go out of this mortal life shall have power to possess our bodies in that eternal world.
What we are doing as members of the Church is charting a course leading to eternal life. There was only one perfect being, the Lord Jesus. If men had to be perfect and live all of the law strictly, wholly, and completely, there would be only one saved person in eternity.
The prophet taught that there are many things to be done, even beyond the grave, in working out our salvation. And so what we do in this life is chart a course leading to eternal life. That course begins here and now and continues in the realms ahead.
We must determine in our hearts and in our souls, with all the power and ability we have, that from this time forward we will press on in righteousness; by so doing we can go where God and Christ are. If we make that firm determination, and are in the course of our duty when this life is over, we will continue in that course in eternity.
That same spirit that possesses our bodies at the time we depart from this mortal life will have power to possess our bodies in the eternal world. If we go out of this life loving the Lord, desiring righteousness, and seeking to acquire the attributes of godliness, we will have that same spirit in the eternal world, and we will then continue to advance and progress until an ultimate, destined day when we will possess, receive, and inherit all things.
Now I do not say these are the only great heresies that prevail among us. There are others that might be mentioned. My suggestion, relative to all doctrines and all principles, is that we become students of holy writ, and that we conform our thinking and our beliefs to what is found in the standard works.
We need to be less concerned about the views and opinions that others have expressed and drink directly from the fountain the Lord has given us. Then we shall come to a true understanding of the points of his doctrine. And if we pursue such a course, we will soon find that it proceeds in a different direction than the one that the world pursues. We will not be troubled with the intellectual views and expressions of uninspired people.
I like to think I have a certain advantage as a teacher of literature because when I was growing up I disliked and feared books. This point may come as a shock to you if you have always had the impression that in order to succeed academically you need to play it safe and avoid controversy in your writing, making statements that nobody can possibly disagree with.
On the one hand, I agree that. On the other hand, I still insist that. On the one hand, some argue that. From this perspective,. On the other hand, however, others argue that. In sum, then, the issue is whether or. My own view is that.
Though I concede that , I still maintain that. For example,. Although some might object that , I would reply that. The issue is important because. If you go back over this template, you will see that it helps you make a host of challenging moves each of which is taken up in forthcoming chapters in this book. Again, none of us is born knowing these moves, especially when it comes to academic writing.
Hence the need for this book. If you are like some of our students, your initial response to templates may be skepticism. At first, many of our students complain that using templates will take away their originality and creativity and make them all sound the same.
We create our own. As for the belief that pre-established forms undermine creativity, we think it rests on a very limited vision of what creativity is all about. In our view, the above template and the others in this book will actually help your writing become more original and creative, not less.
After all, even the most creative forms of expression depend on established patterns and structures. Ultimately, then, creativity and originality lie not in the avoidance of established forms but in the imaginative use of them. Furthermore, these templates do not dictate the content of what you say, which can be as original as you can make it, but only suggest a way of formatting how you say it.
In addition, once you begin to feel comfortable with the templates in this book, you will be able to improvise creatively on them to fit new situations and purposes and find others in your reading. In other words, the templates offered here are learning tools to get you started, not structures set in stone.
Once you get used to using them, you can even dispense with them altogether, for the rhetorical moves they model will be at your fingertips in an unconscious, instinctive way. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? I tend to sympathize with these portly fast-food patrons, though. It is plagiarism, however, if the words used to fill in the blanks of such formulas are borrowed from others without proper acknowledgment. Ultimately, this book invites you to become a critical thinker who can enter the types of conversations described eloquently by the philosopher Kenneth Burke in the following widely cited passage.
Likening the world of intellectual exchange to a never- ending conversation at a party, Burke writes: You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about.
You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you. The hour grows late, you must depart.
And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress. The central piece of advice in this book—that we listen carefully to others, including those who disagree with us, and then engage with them thoughtfully and respectfully—can help us see beyond our own pet beliefs, which may not be shared by everyone.
Exercises 1. Read the following paragraph from an essay by Emily Poe, a student at Furman University. Disregarding for the moment what Poe says, focus your attention on the phrases she uses to structure what she says italicized here. On the contrary, many of these supposedly brainwashed people are actu- ally independent thinkers, concerned citizens, and compassionate human beings.
For the truth is that there are many very good reasons for giving up meat. Write a short essay in which you first summarize our rationale for the templates in this book and then articulate your own position in response. If you want, you can use the template below to organize your paragraphs, expanding and modifying it as necessary to fit what you want to say. Specifically, Graff and Birkenstein argue that the types of writing templates they offer. In sum, then, their view is that.
In my view, the types of templates that the authors recommend. For instance,. In addition,. Some might object, of course, on the grounds that. Yet I would argue that.
Overall, then, I believe —an important point to make given. X—had done very good work in a number of areas of the discipline. The speaker proceeded to illustrate his thesis by referring extensively and in great detail to various books and articles by Dr.
X and by quoting long pas- sages from them. The speaker was obviously both learned and impassioned, but as we listened to his talk we found ourselves somewhat puzzled: Did anyone dispute it? Since the speaker gave no hint of an answer to any of these questions, we could only wonder why he was going on and on about X. It The hypo- thetical was only after the speaker finished and took questions audience in from the audience that we got a clue: This story illustrates an important lesson: Because our speaker failed to mention what others had said about Dr.
Perhaps the point was clear to other sociologists in the audience who were more familiar with the debates over Dr. Delaying this explanation for more than one or two paragraphs in a very short essay or blog entry, three or four pages in a longer work, or more than ten or so pages in a book reverses the natural order in which readers process material—and in which writers think and develop ideas.
After all, it seems very unlikely that our conference speaker first developed his defense of Dr. X and only later came across Dr. As someone knowledgeable in his field, the speaker surely encountered the criticisms first and only then was compelled to respond and, as he saw it, set the record straight. Therefore, when it comes to constructing an argument whether orally or in writing , we offer you the following advice: This is not to say that you must start with a detailed list of everyone who has written on your subject before you offer your own ideas.
Had our conference speaker gone to the opposite extreme and spent most of his talk summarizing Dr. The point is to give your readers a quick preview of what is motivating your argument, not to drown them in details right away. Our civiliza- tion is decadent and our language—so the argument runs—must inevitably share in the general collapse. Modern English. But I say we can. In opening this chapter, for example, we devote the first para- graph to an anecdote about the conference speaker and then move quickly at the start of the second paragraph to the miscon- ception about writing exemplified by the speaker.
In the follow- ing opening, from an opinion piece in the New York Times Book Review, Christina Nehring also moves quickly from an anecdote illustrating something she dislikes to her own claim—that book lovers think too highly of themselves. Instead, I mumbled something apologetic and melted into the crowd. Here are some standard templates that we would have recommended to our conference speaker. These templates are popular because they provide a quick and efficient way to perform one of the most common moves that writers make: These are templates that can help you think analytically—to look beyond what others say explicitly and to consider their unstated assumptions, as well as the implications of their views.
Furthermore, opening with a summary of a debate can help you explore the issue you are writing about before declar- ing your own view. In this way, you can use the writing process itself to help you discover where you stand instead of having to commit to a position before you are ready to do so.
Here is a basic template for opening with a debate. On the one hand, argues. On the other hand, contends. Others even maintain. My own view is. The cognitive scientist Mark Aronoff uses this kind of template in an essay on the workings of the human brain. One, rationalism, sees the human mind as coming into this world more or less fully formed— preprogrammed, in modern terms. The other, empiricism, sees the mind of the newborn as largely unstructured, a blank slate.
Whereas some are convinced that , others maintain that. The political writer Thomas Frank uses a variation on this move. That we are a nation divided is an almost universal lament of this bitter election year.
However, the exact property that divides us—elemental though it is said to be—remains a matter of some controversy. Their assertion that is contradicted by their claim that. We ourselves use such return sentences at every opportunity in this book to remind you of the view of writing that our book questions—that good writing means making true or smart or logical statements about a given subject with little or no refer- ence to what others say about it.
The difference is huge. Like the speaker in the cartoon on page 4 who declares that The Sopranos presents complex characters, these one-sided arguments fail to explain what view they are responding to—what view, in effect, they are trying to correct, add to, qualify, complicate, and so forth.
Your job in this exercise is to provide each argument with such a counterview. Feel free to use any of the templates in this chapter that you find helpful. Our experiments suggest that there are dangerous levels of chemical X in the Ohio groundwater. Material forces drive history.
Male students often dominate class discussions. The film is about the problems of romantic relationships. Use the template to structure a passage on a topic of your own choosing. Your first step here should be to find an idea that you support that others not only disagree with but actually find laughable or, as Zinczenko puts it, worthy of a Jay Leno monologue.
You might write about one of the topics listed in the previous exercise the environment, gender relations, the meaning of a book or movie or any other topic that interests you. If ever there was an idea custom-made for a Jay Leno monologue, this was it: Whatever hap- pened to? I happen to sympathize with , though, perhaps because. Because writers who make strong claims need to map their claims relative to those of other people, it is important to know how to summarize effectively what those other people say.
At the opposite extreme are those who do nothing but summarize. Generally speaking, 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. Strik- ing this delicate balance can be tricky, since it means facing two ways at once: As a writer, when you play the believing game well, readers should not be able to tell whether you agree or disagree with the ideas you are summarizing.
Consider the following summary. I disagree because these companies have to make money. If you review what Zinczenko actually says pp. So eager is this writer to disagree that he not only caricatures what Zinczenko says but also gives the article a hasty, super- ficial reading. Granted, there are many writing situations in which, because of matters of proportion, a one- or two-sentence summary is precisely what you want.
Indeed, as writing profes- sor Karen Lunsford whose own research focuses on argument theory points out, it is standard in the natural and social sci- ences to summarize the work of others quickly, in one pithy sentence or phrase, as in the following example. Several studies Crackle, ; Pop, ; Snap, suggest that these policies are harmless; moreover, other studies Dick, ; Harry, ; Tom, argue that they even have benefits.
So, for example, Martin Luther King Jr. Whenever you enter into a conversation with others in your writing, then, it is extremely important that you go back to what those others have said, that you study it very closely, and that you not confuse it with something you already believe. A writer who fails to do this ends up essentially conversing with imaginary others who are really only the products of his or her own biases and preconceptions. Paradoxically, at the same time that summarizing another text requires you to represent fairly what it says, it also requires that your own response exert a quiet influence.
A good summary, in other words, has a focus or spin that allows the summary to fit with your own agenda while still being true to the text you are summarizing. Thus if you are writing in response to the essay by Zinczenko, you should be able to see that an essay on the fast-food industry in general will call for a very different summary than will an essay on parenting, corporate regulation, or warning labels.
To set up this argument, you will probably want to compose a summary that highlights what Zinczenko says about the fast- food industry and parents. Consider this sample. With many parents working long hours and unable to supervise what their children eat, Zinczenko claims, children today are easily victimized by the low-cost, calorie-laden foods that the fast-food chains are all too eager to supply. This advice—to summarize authors in light of your own arguments—may seem painfully obvious.
But writers often summarize a given author on one issue even though their text actually focuses on another. A typical list summary sounds like this. The author says many different things about his subject. First he says. Then he makes the point that.
In addition he says. And then he writes. Also he shows that. And then he says. It may be boring list summaries like this that give summaries in general a bad name and even prompt some instructors to discourage their students from summarizing at all.
On the other hand, even as it does justice to the source, a summary has to have a slant or spin that prepares the way for your own claims. Once a summary enters your text, you should think of it as joint property—reflecting both the source you are summarizing and your own views.
Now, however, we want to address one exception to this rule: Despite our previous comments that well-crafted summaries generally strike a balance between heeding what someone else has said and your own independent interests, the satiric mode can at times be a very effective form of critique because it lets the summarized argument condemn itself without overt edito- rializing by you, the writer.
Consider another example. In September , then- President George W. We suspect that the habit of ignoring the action in what we summarize stems from the mistaken belief we mentioned earlier that writing is about playing it safe and not making waves, a matter of piling up truths and bits of knowledge rather than a dynamic process of doing things to and with other people.
Then write a summary of the position that you actually hold on this topic. Give both summaries to a classmate or two, and see if they can tell which position you endorse. Write the first one for an essay arguing that, contrary to what Zinczenko claims, there are inexpensive and convenient alternatives to fast-food restaurants. Write the second for an essay that questions whether being overweight is a genuine medical problem rather than a problem of cultural stereotypes. Compare your two summaries: In a sense, then, quotations function as a kind of proof of evidence, saying to readers: She makes this claim and here it is in her exact words.
But the main problem with quoting arises when writers assume that quotations speak for themselves. Because the meaning of a quotation is obvious to them, many writers assume that this meaning will also be obvious to their readers, when often it is not.
In a way, quotations are orphans: This chapter offers two key ways to pro- duce this sort of integration: In fact, sometimes quotations that were initially relevant to your argument, or to a key point in it, become less so as your text changes during the process of writing and revising.
It can be somewhat misleading, then, to speak of finding your thesis and finding relevant quotations as two separate steps, one coming after the other. Since quotations do not speak for themselves, you need to build a frame around them in which you do that speaking for them. Susan Bordo writes about women and dieting. Until television was introduced in , the islands had no reported cases of eating disorders. In , three years after programs from the United States and Britain began broadcasting there, 62 percent of the girls surveyed reported dieting.
Another point Bordo makes is that. Since this writer fails to introduce the quotation adequately or explain why he finds it worth quoting, readers will have a hard time reconstructing what Bordo argued. The introductory or lead-in claims should explain who is speaking and set up what the quotation says; the follow-up statements should explain why you consider the quotation to be important and what you take it to say. When offering such explanations, it is important to use lan- guage that accurately reflects the spirit of the quoted passage.
Consider, for example, how the earlier passage on Bordo might be revised using some of these moves. Her basic complaint is that increasing numbers of women across the globe are being led to see themselves as fat and in need of a diet. Ultimately, Bordo complains, the culture of dieting will find you, regardless of where you live.
But is it possible to overexplain a quotation? After all, not all quotations require the same amount of explan- atory framing, and there are no hard-and-fast rules for knowing how much explanation any quotation needs. As a general rule, the most explanatory framing is needed for quotations that may be hard for readers to process: And yet, though the particular situation usually dictates when and how much to explain a quotation, we will still offer one piece of advice: It is better to risk being overly explicit about what you take a quotation to mean than to leave the quotation dangling and your readers in doubt.
Indeed, we encourage you to provide such explanatory framing even when writing to an audience that you know to be familiar with the author being quoted and able to interpret your quotations on their own. The templates in this book will help you avoid such mis- takes. How has he or she introduced the quota- tion, and what, if anything, has the writer said to explain it and tie it to his or her own text?
Look at something you have written for one of your classes. Have you quoted any sources? If so, how have you integrated the quotation into your own text? How have you introduced it? Explained what it means? Indicated how it relates to your text? Perhaps had I studied the situation longer I could have come up with a similar argument. Although each way of responding is open to endless variation, we focus on these three because readers come to any text needing to learn fairly quickly where the writer stands, and they do this by placing the writer on a mental map consisting of a few familiar options: Is he for what this other person has said, against it, or what?
We would argue, however, that the more complex and subtle your argument is, and the more it departs from the conventional ways people think, the more your readers will need to be able to place it on their mental map in order to process the complex details you present.
It is always a good tactic to begin 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 that , but I cannot agree that. In fact, there would be no reason to offer an interpretation of a work of literature or art unless you were responding to the interpre- tations or possible interpretations of others.
Even when you point out features or qualities of an artistic work that others have not noticed, you are implicitly disagreeing with what those interpreters have said by pointing out that they missed or overlooked something that, in your view, is important.
Disagreeing can also be the easiest way to generate an essay: But disagreement in fact poses hidden challenges. You need to do more than simply assert that you disagree with a particular view; 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: To move the conversation forward and, indeed, to justify your very act of writing , you need to demonstrate that you have something to contribute.
Here is an example of such a move, used to open an essay on the state of American schools. On the one hand, she argues. On the other hand, she also says. For example: 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. We need to own guns to protect ourselves against criminals.
One of these reasons may in fact explain why the conference speaker we described at the start of Chapter 1 avoided mentioning the disagreement he had with other scholars until he was provoked to do so in the discussion that followed his talk.
As much as we understand such fears of conflict and have experienced them ourselves, we nevertheless believe it is better to state our disagreements in frank yet considerate ways than to deny them. Nevertheless, disagreements do not need to take the form of personal put-downs.
You can single out for criticism only those aspects of what someone else has said that are troubling, and then agree with the rest—although such an approach, as we will see later in this chapter, leads to the somewhat more complicated terrain of both agreeing and disagreeing at the same time.
Just as you need to avoid simply contradicting views you disagree with, you also need to do more than simply echo views you agree with. You may cite some corroborating personal experience, or a situation not mentioned by X that her views help readers understand.
In other words, your text can usefully contribute to the conversation simply by pointing out unnoticed implications or explaining something that needs to be better understood. Some writers avoid the practice of agreeing almost as much as others avoid disagreeing.
It is hard to align yourself with one position without at least implicitly positioning yourself against others. These findings join a growing convergence of evidence across the human sciences leading to a revolutionary shift in consciousness.
If cooperation, typically associated with altruism and self- sacrifice, sets off the same signals of delight as pleasures commonly associated with hedonism and self-indulgence; if the opposition between selfish and selfless, self vs. Basically, what Gilligan says could be boiled down to a template. What such templates allow you to do, then, is to agree with one view while challenging another—a move that leads into the domain of agreeing and disagreeing simultaneously.
Another aspect we like about this option is that it can be tipped subtly toward agreement or disagreement, depending on where you lay your stress.
If you want to stress the disagreement end of the spectrum, you would use a template like the one below. Conversely, if you want to stress your agreement more than your disagreement, you would use a template like this one. Other versions include the following. This move can be especially useful if you are responding to new or particularly challenging work and are as yet unsure where you stand. But again, as we suggest earlier, whether you are agreeing, disagreeing, or both agreeing and disagreeing, you need to be as clear as pos- sible, and making a frank statement that you are ambivalent is one way to be clear.
Nevertheless, writers often have as many concerns about expressing ambivalence as they do about expressing disagree- ment or agreement. Some worry that by expressing ambivalence they will come across as evasive, wishy-washy, or unsure of themselves.
Others worry that their ambivalence will end up confusing readers who require decisive clear-cut conclusions. At times ambivalence can frustrate readers, leaving them with the feeling that you failed in your obligation to offer the guidance they expect from writers. At other times, however, acknowledging that a clear-cut resolution of an issue is impos- sible can demonstrate your sophistication as a writer.
In an academic culture that values complex thought, forthrightly declaring that you have mixed feelings can be impressive, especially after having ruled out the one-dimensional positions on your issue taken by others in the conversation. Read one of the essays in the back of this book or on theysayiblog. Write an essay responding in some way to the essay that you worked with in the preceding exercise.
This chapter takes up the problem of moving from what they say to what you say without confusing readers about who is saying what. Especially with texts that pres- ent a true dialogue of perspectives, readers need to be alert to the often subtle markers that indicate whose voice the writer is speaking in.
Our national con- sciousness, 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 muted and our col- lective character is homogenized. Yet class divisions are real and arguably the most significant factor in determining both our very being in the world and the nature of the society we live in. The Politics and Economics of Class in the U. Mantsios also places this opening view in quotation marks to signal that it is not his own. Hence, even before Mantsios has declared his own position in the second para- graph, readers can get a pretty solid sense of where he probably stands.
To see how important such voice markers are, consider what the Mantsios passage looks like if we remove them. We are all middle-class. We are a nation of prosperity and opportunity with an ever expanding middle-class life-style. Class divisions are real and arguably the most significant factor in determining both our very being in the world and the nature of the society we live in. To do so, you can use as voice-identifying devices many of the templates presented in previous chapters.
For us, well-supported argu- ments are grounded in persuasive reasons and evidence, not in the use or nonuse of any particular pronouns. Furthermore, if you consistently avoid the first person in your writing, you will probably have trouble making the key move addressed in this chapter: See for yourself how freely the first person is used by the writers quoted in this book, and by the writers assigned in your courses.
I think. On the whole, however, academic writing today, See pp. Hence, instead of writing: Liberals believe that cultural differences need to be respected. I have a problem with this view, however. I have a problem with what liberals call cultural differences. There is a major problem with the liberal doctrine of so-called cultural differences.
You can also embed references to something you yourself have previously said. So instead of writing two cumbersome sen- tences like: Embedded references like these allow you to economize your train of thought and refer to other perspectives without any major interruption. When readers cannot tell if you are summarizing your own views or endorsing a certain phrase or label, they have to stop and think: I thought the author disagreed with this claim.
Has she actually been asserting this view all along? Is she actually endorsing it? To see how one writer signals when she is asserting her own views and when she is summarizing those of someone else, read the following passage by the social historian Julie Charlip. As you do so, identify those spots where Charlip refers to the views of others and the signal phrases she uses to distinguish her views from theirs.
If only that were true, things might be more simple. But in late twentieth-century America, it seems that society is splitting more and more into a plethora of class factions—the working class, the working poor, lower-middle class, upper-middle class, lower uppers, and upper uppers. In my days as a newspaper reporter, I once asked a sociology pro- fessor what he thought about the reported shrinking of the middle class.
His definition: How do we define class? Is it an issue of values, lifestyle, taste? Is it the kind of work you do, your relationship to the means of production? Is it a matter of how much money you earn? Are we allowed to choose? What class do I come from? What class am I in now? As an historian, I seek the answers to these questions in the specificity of my past.
Study a piece of your own writing to see how many perspec- tives you account for and how well you distinguish your own voice from those you are summarizing. Consider the following questions: How many perspectives do you engage?
What other perspectives might you include?
How do you distinguish your views from the other views you summarize? Do you use clear voice-signaling phrases? What options are available to you for clarifying who is saying what? Which of these options are best suited for this particular text?
For the first couple of weeks when she sits down to write, things go relatively well. This little story contains an important lesson for all writers, experienced and inexperienced alike. It suggests that even though most of us are upset at the idea of someone criticizing our work, such criticisms can actually work to our advantage. Here you are, trying to say something that will hold up, and we want you to tell readers all the negative things someone might say against you?
We are urging you to tell readers what others might say against you, but our point is that doing so will actu- ally enhance your credibility, not undermine it. As we argue throughout this book, writing well does not mean piling up uncontroversial truths in a vacuum; it means engaging others in a dialogue or debate—not only by opening your text with a summary of what others have said, as we suggest in Chapter 1, but also by imagining what others might say against your argu- ment as it unfolds.
Once you see writing as an act of entering a conversation, you should also see how opposing arguments can work for you rather than against you. When you entertain a counterargument, you make a kind of preemptive strike, identifying problems with your argument before oth- ers can point them out for you. In addition, by imagining what others might say against your claims, you come across as a generous, broad-minded person who is confident enough to open himself or herself to debate—like the writer in the figure on the following page.
You might also leave important ques- tions hanging and concerns about your arguments unaddressed. Finally, if you fail to plant a naysayer in your text, you may find that you have very little to say.
Planting a naysayer in your text is a relatively simple move, as you can see by looking at the following passage from a book by the writer Kim Chernin. At this point I would like to raise certain objections that have been inspired by the skeptic in me.
She feels that I have been ignoring some of the most common assumptions we all make about our bod- ies and these she wishes to see addressed. You download new clothes. You look at yourself more eagerly in the mirror.
You feel sexier. Admit it. You like yourself better. Instead, she embraces that voice and writes it into her text. Note too that instead of dispatching this naysaying voice quickly, as many of us would be tempted to do, Chernin stays with it and devotes a full paragraph to it. She feels that I have been ignoring the complexities of the situation.
But the ideas that motivate arguments and objections often can—and, where possible, should—be ascribed to a specific ideology or school of thought for example, liberals, Christian fundamentalists, neopragmatists rather than to anonymous anybodies.
To be sure, some people dislike such labels and may even resent having labels applied to themselves. Some feel that labels put individuals in boxes, stereotyping them and glossing over what makes each of us unique.
But since the life of ideas, includ- ing many of our most private thoughts, is conducted through groups and types rather than solitary individuals, intellectual exchange requires labels to give definition and serve as a convenient shorthand.
If you categorically reject all labels, you give up an important resource and even mislead readers by presenting yourself and others as having no connection to anyone else. You also miss an opportunity to generalize the importance and relevance of your work to some larger con- versation. The way to minimize the problem of stereotyping, then, is not to categorically reject labels but to refine and qualify their use, as the following templates demonstrate.
For instance, you can frame objections in the form of questions. What are the chances of its actually being adopted? Is it always the case, as I have been suggesting, that?
I like a couple of cigarettes or a cigar with a drink, and like many other people, I only smoke in bars or nightclubs. Bartenders who were friends have turned into cops, forcing me outside to shiver in the cold and curse under my breath. Smokers are being demonized and victim- ized all out of proportion. Health con- sciousness is important, but so are pleasure and freedom of choice. This move works well for Jackson, but See Chapter 5 for more only because he uses quotation marks and other voice advice on markers to make clear at every point whose voice using voice markers.
Although it is tempting to give opposing views short shrift, to hurry past them, or even to mock them, doing so is usually counterproductive. They make readers game. Or would he detect a mocking tone or an oversimplifica- tion of his views? There will always be certain objections, to be sure, that you believe do not deserve to be represented, just as there will be objections that seem so unworthy of respect that they inspire ridicule.
After all, when you write objections into a text, you take the risk that readers will find those objections more convincing than the argument you yourself are advancing. In the edito- rial quoted above, for example, Joe Jackson takes the risk that readers will identify more with the anti-smoking view he sum- marizes than with the pro-smoking position he endorses.
This is precisely what Benjamin Franklin describes hap- pening to himself in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin , when he recalls being converted to Deism a religion that exalts reason over spirituality by reading anti-Deist books.
When he encountered the views of Deists being negatively summarized by authors who opposed them, Franklin explains, he ended up finding the Deist position more persuasive. It is good to address objections in your writing, but only if you are able to overcome them. Often the best way to overcome an objection is not to try to refute it completely but to agree with part of it while chal- lenging only the part you dispute. Rather than build a difference. Can I deny these things? No woman who has managed to lose weight would wish to argue with this.
Most people feel better about themselves when they become slender. And yet, upon reflection, it seems to me that there is something precarious about this well- being. After all, 98 percent of people who lose weight gain it back. Then, of course, we can no longer bear to look at ourselves in the mirror.
Even as she concedes that losing weight feels good in the short run, she argues that in the long run the weight always returns, making the dieter far more miserable. But they exaggerate when they claim that. But on the other hand, I still insist that. Often the most productive engagements among differing views end with a combined vision that incorporates elements of each one. After all, the goal of writing is not to keep proving that what- ever you initially said is right, but to stretch the limits of your thinking.
Some would argue that that is what the academic world is all about. Read the following passage by the cultural critic Eric Schlosser. Do it for him. Insert a brief paragraph stating an objection to his argument and then responding to the objection as he might.
The United States must declare an end to the war on drugs. It has created a multibillion-dollar black market, enriched organized crime groups and promoted the corruption of government officials throughout the world.
And it has not stemmed the widespread use of illegal drugs. By any rational measure, this war has been a total failure. We must develop public policies on substance abuse that are guided not by moral righteousness or political expediency but by common sense.
The United States should immediately decriminal- ize the cultivation and possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. We must shift our entire approach to drug abuse from the criminal justice system to the public health system.
Congress should appoint an independent commission to study the harm-reduction policies that have been adopted in Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands. The commission should recommend policies for the United States based on one important criterion: Like the rest of American society, our drug policy would greatly benefit from less punishment and more compassion.
If not, revise your text to do so. If so, have you anticipated all the likely objections? Who if anyone have you attributed the objections to? Have you represented the objections fairly? Have you answered them well enough, or do you think you now need to qualify your own argu- ment? Could you use any of the language suggested in this chapter? Does the introduction of a naysayer strengthen your argument? Why, or why not? Bernini was the best sculptor of the baroque period.
All writing is conversational. So what? Why does any of this matter? How many times have you had reason to ask these ques- tions?
Regardless of how interesting a topic may be to you as a writer, readers always need to know what is at stake in a text and why they should care. All too often, however, these ques- tions are left unanswered—mainly because writers and speakers assume that audiences will know the answers already or will figure them out on their own. The problem is not necessarily that the speakers lack a clear, well-focused thesis or that the thesis is inadequately supported with evidence.
That this question is so often left unaddressed is unfortunate since the speakers generally could offer interesting, engaging answers. Yet many academics fail to identify these reasons and consequences explicitly in what they say and write. Not everyone can claim to have a cure for cancer or a solution to end poverty.
In one sense, the two questions get at the same thing: Yet they get at this significance in different ways. Writing in the New York Times, she explains some of the latest research into fat cells. Scientists 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 and that body fat is potent stuff: By referring to these scientists, Grady implicitly acknowledges that her text is part of a larger con- versation and shows who besides herself has an interest in what she says.
Within the past few decades research has shown that fat cells act like chemical factories and that body fat is potent stuff: Though this statement is clear and easy to follow, it lacks any indication that anyone needs to hear it. Okay, one nods while reading this passage, fat is an active, potent thing. But does anyone really care? Who, if anyone, is interested? But recently [or within the past few decades] experts suggest that it can be counterproductive.
Who besides me and a handful of recent researchers has a stake in these claims? At the very least, the researchers who formerly believed should care. To gain greater authority as a writer, it can help to name spe- cific people or groups who have a stake in your claims and to go into some detail about their views.
For instance, one eminent scholar of cell biology, , assumed in , her seminal work on cell structures and functions, that fat cells. Ultimately, when it came to the nature of fat, the basic assumption was that.
But a new body of research shows that fat cells are far more complex and that. In other cases, you might refer to certain people or groups who should care about your claims. However, new research shows.
But on closer inspection. Ultimately, such 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. Why should anyone besides a few specialists in the field care about such disputes? What, if anything, hinges on them? The best way to answer such questions about the larger con- sequences of your claims is to appeal to something that your audience already figures to care about. Researchers trying to decipher the biology of fat cells hope to find new ways to help people get rid of excess fat or, at least, prevent obesity from destroying their health.
In an increasingly obese world, their efforts have taken on added importance. Internationally, more than a billion people are overweight. For example, a sociologist ana- lyzing back-to-nature movements of the past thirty years might make the following statement. In a world increasingly dominated by cellphones and sophisticated computer technologies, these attempts to return to nature appear futile.
All these templates help you hook your readers. 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. You also need to frame it in a way that helps readers care about it.
Does it really need to be spelled out? And why should I care about supporting a family? Nevertheless, we urge you to go as far as possible in answering such questions. And though some expert readers might already know why your claims matter, even they 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. Find several texts scholarly essays, newspaper articles, emails, memos, blogs, etc.
What difference does it make whether they do or do not? How do the authors who answer these questions do so? Do they use any strategies or techniques that you could borrow for your own writing? You might use the following template to get started.
My point here that should interest those who. Beyond this limited audience, however, my point should speak to anyone who cares about the larger issue of. Spot is a good dog. He has fleas. Can you connect them in some logical way? Spot is a good dog, but he has fleas. Spot is a good dog, even though he has fleas.
And yet Bill did focus well on his subjects. When he men- tioned Spot the dog or Plato, or any other topic in one sen- tence, we could count on Spot or Plato being the topic of the following sentence as well.
But because Bill neglected to mark his con- nections, his writing was as frustrating to read as theirs. In all these cases, we had to struggle to figure out on our own how the sentences and paragraphs connected or failed to connect with one another.
What makes such writers so hard to read, in other words, is that they never gesture back to what they have just said or forward to what they plan to say. Each sentence basically starts a new thought, rather than growing out of or extending the thought of the previous sentence. When Bill talked about his writing habits, he acknowl- edged that he never went back and read what he had written.
Indeed, he told us that, other than using his computer software to check for spelling errors and make sure that his tenses were all aligned, he never actually reread what he wrote before turn- ing it in.
As Bill seemed to picture it, writing was something one did while sitting at a computer, whereas reading was a separate activity generally reserved for an easy chair, book in hand. It had never occurred to Bill that to write a good sentence he had to think about how it connected to those that came before and after; that he had to think hard about how that sentence fit into the sentences that surrounded it. Each sentence for Bill existed in a sort of tunnel isolated from every other sentence on the page.
What we suggest in this chapter, then, is that you converse not only with others in your writing but with yourself: This chapter addresses the issue of how to connect all the parts of your writing. The best compositions establish a sense of momentum and direction by making explicit connections among their different parts, so that what is said in one sentence or paragraph both sets up what is to come and is clearly informed by what has already been said.
It may help to think of each sentence you write as having arms that reach backward and forward, as the figure below suggests. When your sentences reach outward like this, they establish con- nections that help your writing flow smoothly in a way readers appreciate. Conversely, when writing lacks such connections and moves in fits and starts, readers repeatedly have to go back over the sentences and guess at the connections on their own.
This chapter offers several strategies you can use to put this principle into action: All these moves require that you always look back and, in crafting any one sentence, think hard about those that precede it. Notice how we ourselves have used such connecting devices thus far in this chapter.
If you look through this book, you should be able to find many sentences that contain some word or phrase that explicitly hooks them back to some- thing said earlier, to something about to be said, or both. And many sentences in this chapter repeat key terms related to the idea of connection: Transitions are usually placed at or near the start of sentences so they can signal to readers where your text is going: The following is a list of commonly used transitions, catego- rized according to their different functions.
But even though such terms should function unobtrusively in your writing, they can be among the most powerful tools in your vocabulary. Notice that some transitions can help you not only to move from one sentence to another, but to combine two or more sen- tences into one. Combining sentences in this way helps prevent the choppy, staccato effect that arises when too many short sen- tences are strung together, one after the other.
And if you draw on them frequently enough, using them should eventually become sec- ond nature. To be sure, it is possible to overuse transitions, so take time to read over your drafts carefully and eliminate any transitions that are unnecessary. Seasoned writers sometimes omit explicit transitions, but only because they rely heavily on the other types of connect- ing devices that we turn to in the rest of this chapter.
Choosing transition terms should involve a bit of mental sweat, since the whole point of using them is to make your writing more reader-friendly, not less. For example, he has fleas. Like transitions, however, pointing words need to be used carefully. Alexis de Tocqueville was highly critical of democratic societ- ies, which he saw as tending toward mob rule. At the same time, he accorded democratic societies grudging respect. You can fix problems caused by a free-floating pointer by making sure there is one and only one possible object in the vicinity that the pointer could be referring to.
When used effectively, your key terms should be items that readers could extract from your text in order to get a solid sense of your topic. Playing with key terms also can be a good way to come up with a title and appropriate section headings for your text.
Notice how often Martin Luther King Jr. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work.
But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. In fact, these key terms help build a sense of momentum in the paragraph and bind it together. In a variety of ways, the mass media helped make us the cultural schizophrenics we are today, women who rebel against yet submit to prevailing images about what a desirable, worthwhile woman should be.
We are ambivalent toward feminin- ity on the one hand and feminism on the other. When I open Vogue, for example, I am simultaneously infu- riated and seduced.
I adore the materialism; I despise the materialism. I want to look beautiful; I think wanting to look beautiful is about the most dumb-ass goal you could have. The magazine stokes my desire; the magazine triggers my bile. To explain this schizophrenia.