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They Say I Say Response Essay


In a nutshell, They Say I Say is an introduction to the art of writing an argument and developing an academic conversation. It is easy to read and understand as it offers a wide array of examples and templates as well as exercises so that the reader can test the concepts learned. As I read it, I noticed that authors use simple language that encourages less experienced learners to combat potential fears on how to create coherent arguments (Graff 466). I feel that the book has basic yet good advice on how to deliver an argument and allow the conversation to continue at the same time. Also, the article highlights the process and reasons for encapsulating an individual’s argument as well as the context of using quotes.

As I read the book, I realized that writing can be reduced to a formula contrary to what most people believe. Indeed, all effective writing cascades to the basic formula of they say, I say.” This formula is based on the fact that a coherent paper should begin with what others have said about the subject matter, or “they say,” then followed by the student’s personal opinions, or “I say” (Graff 468). I think whether you are sending email, writing a novel, or a poem, it’s necessary to first respond to what other people are saying and give them a sense of your thoughts.

I feel the book works like a thesaurus since it provides recommendations for phrasing an argument in the same way I would use a thesaurus to search for alternative words in order to avoid repetition. Reading an article with repeated phrases consecutively can get boring. But incorporating phrases like, “the author argued that…,” breaks the monotony and makes the story or argument more interesting.

Work Cited
Graff, Gerald, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. They Say I Say. Demystifying Academic Argumentation With Readings. New York/London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2016. Print.

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