The book that demystifies academic writing, teaching students to frame their arguments in the larger context of what else has been said about their topic–and providing templates to help them make the key rhetorical moves.The best-selling new composition book published in this century, in use at more than 1,000 schools, They Say / I Say has essentially defined academic writing, identifying its key rhetorical moves, the most important of which is to summarize what others have said (“they say”) to set up one’s own argument (“I say”). The book also provides templates to help students make these key moves in their own writing.
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Gerald Graff, a Professor of English and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and 2008 President of the Modern Language Association of America, has had a major impact on teachers through such books as Professing Literature: An Institutional History, Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education, and, most recently, Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind.
Cathy Birkenstein is a lecturer in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and co-director of the Writing in the Disciplines program. She has published essays on writing, most recently in College English, and, with Gerald Graff, in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe, and College Composition and Communication. She has also given talks and workshops with Gerald at numerous colleges and is currently working on a study of common misunderstandings surrounding academic discourse.
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