Free Shipping on orders over $25

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $27.00
  • January 2018
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-64328-2
  • 352 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

    Related Books

    More Textbooks

    1. Composition

    More Books

    1. Writing

    They Say / I Say

    The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

    High School Fourth Edition


    See all options and formats starting at

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


    The best-selling book that demystifies academic writing

    This book identifies the key rhetorical moves in academic writing. It shows students how to frame their arguments as a response to what others have said and provides templates to help them start making the moves. The fourth edition features many NEW examples from academic writing, a NEW chapter on Entering Online Discussions, and a thoroughly updated chapter on Writing in the Social Sciences. Finally, two NEW readings provide current examples of the rhetorical moves in action.


    Demystifies academic writing

    They Say / I Say teaches students the rhetorical moves found in persuasive writing across all disciplines. The authors focus on the central rhetorical move that gives the book its title: how to begin with what others have said (“they say”) in order to set up one’s own argument (“I say”). The approach is practical and effective, and the language is engaging and jargon-free.  

    Shows how writing well means engaging with the views of others

    Students learn to develop ideas not in isolation but as a response to what others are already saying. For example, “I disagree with X’s view that ___ because ___,” “Although I agree with X up to a point, I cannot accept her assumption that ___.”  

    Provides templates for making the rhetorical moves that matter

    Students need a place to start. The straightforward templates help students with the structure and language to make sophisticated rhetorical moves in their writing.  

    Now with more support—in print and online

    Instructor resources now include more ideas and strategies for teaching academic writing. A print Instructor’s Guide, NEW online tutorials, and a blog updated regularly with timely readings help you plan and teach your writing course. 

      * New

      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


      8. “As a Result”: Connecting the Parts
      9. "You Mean I Can Just Say It That Way?": Academic Writing Doesn't Mean Setting Aside Your Own Voice
      10. “But Don't Get Me Wrong”: The Art of Metacommentary
      11. “He Says Contends”: Using the Templates to Revise


      12. “I Take Your Point”: Entering Class Discussions
      13. Don't Assume They'll Scroll Up: Entering Online Conversations
      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

      *Michael Littman, "Rise of the Machines" Is Not a Likely Future
      *Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
      Flannery O’Connor, Everything that Rises Must Converge


      Index of Templates