p. xiii central premise, to begin with what others think, not what you think
p. xvi another frequently used phrase, "entering into a conversation with others," seeing writing as conversing
p. xvii 3 highlights: 1) shows students that writing well means entering a conversation, summarizing others ("they say") to set up one's own argument ("I say") 2) demystifies academic writing, showing students "the moves that matter" 3) provides user-friendly templates to help writers make those moves in their own writing
p. xviii example of a template: "In discussions of _ _ _ _ _, a controversial issue is whether _ _ _ _ _. While some argue that _ _ _ _ _, others contend that _ _ _ _ _. "
p. xx this strategy also helps improve reading comprehension as well as improve writing
p. xxi also encourages the student to see others' perspectives
p. xxii foresaw my own concern: "The aim of the templates, then, is not to stifle critical thinking but to be direct with students about key rhetorical moves that it comprises."
p. xxiv 3 valid reasons to use "I" in academic writing
p. 3 "Academic writing is argumentative writing."
p. 4-5 two cartoons on "before and after" with a view of The Sopranos tv show also examples of MLK acknowledging his critics, then defending himself
p. 8-9 Not always simple agree or disagree some of the best writing comes from qualifying a viewpoint
p. 10-11 more discussion of not stifling creativity with templates: "Ultimately, then, creativity and originality lie not in the avoidance of established forms but in the imaginative use of them."
p. 13 Kenneth Burke's metaphor for this concept: coming in late to a party, picking up on a discussion, listening and "then you put in your oar," and join the conversation. Leave the party while it's still going on. The way a writer should see composing an essay.
Chapter One : They Say
then they list many more templates on p. 24-27 for "Standard Views," "Making what 'They Say' Something You Say," "Introducing Something Implied or Assumed," "Introducing an Ongoing Debate" and "Keep What 'They Say' in View."
p. 31 he quotes Peter Elbow as using "the believing game . . . in which you inhabit the world-view of those whose conversation you are joining--and whom you are perhaps even disagreeing with--and try to see their argument from their perspective." (photocopy for Steve Loy ;-)
p. 35 discusses the danger of "list summary" (nice cartoon at the top of p. 36)
p. 37 in contrast, the satiric summary, " in which a writer deliberately gives his or her own spin to someone else's argument in order to reveal a glaring shortcoming in it." cites Jon Stewart's The Daily Show as an example of this
p. 39 perhaps a new phrase to use this year: "we recommend that when summarizing—or when introducing a quotation—you use vivid and precise signal verbs as often as possible" "tailor your verbs to suit the precise actions you're describing" (e.g. "urge, challenge, emphasize, chastises, indicts protests against")
p. 39-41 The chapter ends with several lists: Templates for Introducing Summaries and Quotations," Verbs for Introducing Summaries and quotations
Chapter Three: As He Himself Puts it: The Art of Quoting
p. 44 the danger of "dangling quotations" and Steve Benton's "hit and run quotations" (see cartoon on p. 45)
p. 46-47 offers templates for introducing quotations and explaining quotations
Chapter Four: Yes / No / Okay, But: Three Ways to Respond
p. 62 Templates for Agreeing
p. 64-65 Templates for Agreeing and Disagreeing Simultaneously
Chapter Five: "And Yet": Distinguishing What You Say from What They Say
p. 71 templates for Signaling Who is Saying What in Your Own Writing e.g. "Adding to X's argument, I would point out that _ _ _ _ _."
p. 77 a good checklist for distinguishing one voice from another: (for peer or self-editing)
Chapter Six: "Skeptics May Object": Planting a Naysayer in your Text
p. 79-80 anticipate comments to your own writing in advance (see cartoon on p. 81)
p. 82 Templates for Entertaining Objections
p. 83 Templates for Naming your Naysayers"
p. 84 Templates for Introducing Objections Informally
p. 89 Templates for Making Concessions While Still Standing Your Ground
Chapter Seven: "So What? Who Cares?": Saying Why It Matters
p. 95 Templates for Indicating Who Cares
p. 97 "The best way to answer such questions about the larger consequences of your claims is to appeal to something that your audience already figures to care about."
p. 98 Templates for Establishing Why Your Claims Matter
Chapter Eight: "As a Result": Connecting the Parts
p. 107 nice cartoon, illustrating how the current sentence needs to connect with the previous one and look to the one to come
p. 108-110 several pages of transition words perhaps an image of my own, with a locomotive and establishing a "train of thought" w. transitions as the links binding the cars together?
p. 109 transitions fall into several categories: the text is echoing a previous sentence ("in other words"), adding something to it ("in addition"), offering an example of it ("for example"), generalizing from it ("as a result"), or modifying it ("and yet")
p. 109-110 groups of examples for addition, example, elaboration, comparison, contrast, cause and effect, concession, and conclusion
p. 111 then moves on to combining sentences with a transition
p. 112-113 using "pointing words" such as relative pronouns (this, these, that, those, their) near the start of a sentence or other pronouns (his, he, her, she, it)
p. 116- discussion of deliberate and useful repetition
Chapter Nine: "Ain't So / Is Not": Academic Writing Doesn't Always Mean Setting Aside Your Own Voice
p. 122 how to blend styles, being formal or official enough to pass muster, yet individual and interesting enough to not bore the reader
p. 127 When to mix styles? Consider your audience and purpose: "dressing up" or "dressing down" your language
Chapter Ten: "But Don't Get Me Wrong": The Art of Metacommentary
it acts like a Greek chorus
p. 130 cartoon about main text, vs. the metacommentary
p. 131 Journals are a great way to practice metacommentary, something more than just comprehension reading notes, but not yet to formal, lucid analysis
p. 132 templates:
p. 133-134 Titles a great way to sneak in extra metacommentary
p. 135 Templates for Introducing Metacommentary. Many categories
Chapter Eleven: "I Take Your Point": Entering Class Discussions
p. 142 Frame your comments as a response to something that has already been said. Single most important skill, to connect with previous speaker
Try to add the previous speaker's name in your comment as well as the specific idea, to avoid confusion
p. 143 To change the subject, indicate explicitly that you are doing so
p. 144 Be even more explicit than you would be in writing (because listeners in a discussion can't go back and re-read what previous people have said)
Chapter Twelve: "What's Motivating This Writer?": Reading for the Conversation
p. 147 by doing this, readers become active participants in the reading, rather than passive recipients
Deciphering the conversation: nice imagery of imagining the author in a crowded coffee shop, talking to others who are making claims that her or she is engaging with. the concept of an ongoing, multisided conversation helpful
p. 148-149 students often miss a sub-layer of meaning. "We often ventriloquize views that we don't believe in, and may in fact passionately disagree with, all the time" Great verb and useful image for kids
p. 150 relevant for many passages on the mul.ch or essay sections: " . . . in texts where the central "they say" is not immediately identified, you have to construct it yourself based on the clues the text provides.
p. 151 When the "They Say" is about something "nobody has talked about"
p. 154 "Critical reading is a two-way street."
Chapter Thirteen: "The Data Suggest": Writing in the Sciences by Christopher Gillen
Chapter Fourteen: "Analyze This": Writing in the Social Sciences by Erin Ackerman
p. 198 "Hidden Intellectualism" by Gerald Graff (one of the authors of the book)
p. 206 "Nuclear Waste" by Richard Muller
p. 214 "Agonism n the Academy: Surviving the Argument Culture" by Deborah Tannen
Index of Templates
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