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Book Details

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

"They Say / I Say"

The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

Third Edition


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.