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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $21.00
  • February 2014
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93584-4
  • 5.3 × 7.4 in / 352 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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    1. Writing

    "They Say / I Say"

    The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

    Third Edition


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    Gerald Graff (Author, University of Illinois at Chicago), Cathy Birkenstein (Author, University of Illinois at Chicago)


    The best-selling book on academic writing—in use at more than 1,500 schools.

    “They Say / I Say” identifies the key rhetorical moves in academic writing, showing students how to frame their arguments in the larger context of what others have said and providing templates to help them make those moves. And, because these moves are central across all disciplines, the book includes chapters on writing in the sciences, writing in the social sciences, and—new to this edition—writing about literature.


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    Demystifies academic discourse

    By identifying the moves that matter in ways that students can easily understand and apply, “They Say / I Say” demystifies academic writing.

    Templates provide a starting point

    Templates give students language to make the moves that matter in their own writing. An index of templates makes it easy for students to find the ones they need. The third edition includes a new chapter on “Using the Templates to Revise.”

    Shows students how writing is always part of a larger conversation

    By teaching students to frame their arguments in the larger context of what’s already been said, “They Say” demonstrates how to engage in a lively dialogue in their writing with other writers and thinkers.

    A new chapter on writing about literature

    “‘On Closer Examination’: Entering Conversations about Literature,” shows students how to get beyond the obvious, using what they first thought about a literary work, what their classmates have said, or what critics have written as starting points.

    New attention to online writing

    Advice for using links to incorporate what others say shows students how to make the rhetorical moves that matter in writing they post online.

      *New to the Third Edition

      Preface: Demystifying Academic Conversation
      Introduction: Entering the Conversation
      Part 1. “They Say”
      1. “They Say”: Starting with What Others Are Saying
      2. “Her Point Is”: The Art of Summarizing
      3. “As He Himself Puts It”: The Art of Quoting

      Part 2. “I Say”
      4. “Yes / No / Okay, But”: Three Ways to Respond
      5. “And Yet”: Distinguishing What You Say from What They Say
      6. “Skeptics May Object”: Planting a Naysayer in Your Text
      7. “So What? Who Cares?”: Saying Why It Matters

      Part 3. Tying It All Together
      8. “As a Result”: Connecting the Parts
      9. “Ain’t So / Is Not”: Academic Writing Doesn’t Always Mean Setting Aside Your Own Voice
      10. “But Don't Get Me Wrong”: The Art of Metacommentary
      *11. “He Talks About Deplores”: Using the Templates to Revise

      Part 4. In Specific Academic Settings
      12. “I Take Your Point”: Entering Class Discussions
      *13. “IMHO”: Is Digital Communication Good or Bad — or Both?
      14.“What’s Motivating This Writer?”: Reading for the Conversation
      *15. “On Closer Examination”: Entering Conversations about Literature
      16. “The Data Suggest”: Writing in the Sciences
      17. “Analyze This”: Writing in the Social Sciences

      David Zinczenko, Don’t Blame the Eater
      Gerald Graff, Hidden Intellectualism
      Richard A. Muller, Nuclear Waste
      Barbara Ehrenreich, The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
      Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge

      Index of Templates