- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 3 edition (February 4, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393935841
- ISBN-13: 978-0393935844
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 7.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,175 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (Third Edition) 3rd Edition
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The best tribute to "They Say / I Say" I've heard is this, from a student: "This is one book I'm not selling back to the bookstore." Nods all around the room. The students love this book. --Christine Ross, Quinnipiac University
The argument of this book is important--that there are "moves" to academic writing . . . and that knowledge of them can be generative. The template format is a good way to teach and demystify the moves that matter. I like this book a lot. --David Bartholomae, University of Pittsburgh
A brilliant book. . . . It's like a membership card in the academic club. --Eileen Seifert, DePaul University
Demystifies academic argumentation. --Patricia Bizzell, College of the Holy Cross"
This book demystifies rhetorical moves, tricks of the trade that many students are unsure about. It s reasonable, helpful, nicely written . . . and hey, it s true. I would have found it immensely helpful myself in high school and college. --Mike Rose, University of California, Los Angeles"
The best tribute to They Say / I Say I ve heard is this, from a student: This is one book I m not selling back to the bookstore. Nods all around the room. The students love this book. --Christine Ross, Quinnipiac University"
The argument of this book is important that there are moves to academic writing . . . and that knowledge of them can be generative. The template format is a good way to teach and demystify the moves that matter. I like this book a lot. --David Bartholomae, University of Pittsburgh"
A brilliant book. . . . It s like a membership card in the academic club. --Eileen Seifert, DePaul University"
Students need to walk a fine line between their work and that of others, and this book helps them walk that line, providing specific methods and techniques for introducing, explaining, and integrating other voices with their own ideas. --Libby Miles, University of Rhode Island"
This book uncovers the rhetorical conventions that transcend disciplinary boundaries, so that even freshmen, newcomers to the academy, are immediately able to join in the conversation. --Margaret Weaver, Missouri State University"
About the Author
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 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. She has published essays on writing in College English, and, with Gerald Graff in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe, and College Composition and Communication.
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Top Customer Reviews
I chose this text initially because, unlike a lot of composition texts, the writing voice in TS/IS is very personable, easy to follow, and unpretentious. It occasionally shows a nerdy sense of humor which, surprisingly, my students don't seem to mind.
The book addresses issues that I wish I had been taught as an undergrad, like "saying why it matters," or even the concept of "they say/I say" itself, which looks at how to take empty, boring writing, and put it in context so readers are interested in it. Instead of lecturing about the same tired old essay structure, the book approaches the task like a personal quest: make yourself clear, be interesting, and have integrity as a writer. Anything it omits or only touches on, like MLA style or research tips, can easily be supplemented.
The publisher's price on the second edition (without the readings, many of which can be found online anyway) remains an affordable $25. And I was pleased to see this new third edition also at $25 (on the Norton site, anyway). The price allows me to pair this required text with another inexpensive book on style to capture the more technical side of writing.
My only disappointment is that while TS/IS is FINALLY available as an e-book in the new third edition, it is limited in platform, and comes with this disclaimer: "Our eBooks are Flash based and will not work on the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and some Android devices."
So... my students can buy the cheaper e-book for only $15, but they can't view them on the majority of personal devices, which chips away a little at the advantages of the e-book in the first place.
Overall, though, the quality of the advice, content, and style in this book are still better than most texts I've worked with, so I will stick with it for the new year.
The authors' thesis is that writing is an uncomplicated process which can be reduced to a handful of rhetorical components. If students see writing as a social act, joining a larger conversation already in process, they will produce engaging writing which both they and their teachers will enjoy. Since the book is laced with examples of effective and ineffective writing, there is no doubt as to which the authors aim for, making evaluation a simple, somewhat objective process.
This book seeks to be accessible to a mass audience. It's written in vernacular English, using examples from current culture and respected print sources. It is so straightforward that teachers can use it at multiple levels, from advanced middle school up through college composition. It's so explicit that it could even be used without a teacher, with only a writing group or college writing center to fill in the role of hands-on assistance with individual problems.
This "With Readings" edition contains the full text of Graff and Birkenstein's original short primer of the same title. The original is less than 150 pages and can be digested in small segments by teachers and students alike. This edition contains over 250 pages of articles from respected print and online publications to guide students into the larger writerly discourse. Selected authors include George Will, Thomas Friedman, Eric Schlosser, and Barack Obama.
My only regret is that I did not receive this book sooner. My teaching career up to this point would have been both easier and more productive if I had enjoyed this text, which simply states everything I wanted to say. Both teachers and students often make writing a more difficult process than it needs to be, but this book strips the mystification away and makes classroom writing as easy and clear-cut as the conversations students already have.