They Say / I Say: the Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readings by Russel Durst

Topics: Paper, Rhetoric, Academia Pages: 2 (407 words) Published: April 5, 2012
They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readings by Russel Durst


They Say / I Say shows that writing well means mastering some key rhetorical moves, the most important of which involves summarizing what others have said (they say) to set up one’s own argument (I say). In addition to explaining the basic moves, this book provides writing templates that show students explicitly how to make these moves in their own writing. Now available in two versions, with and without an anthology of 32 readings. .

Personal Review: They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readings by Russel Durst

I begrudgingly bought this book for my senior seminar. I thought it would be a bit childish for the class and the expected maturity level of the students therein. As a result, it sat on my bookshelf, ignored for most of the semester. That is, until I was having problems writing my final paper. At a loss, I turned to this book, and immediately started kicking myself for not doing so sooner. Every other writing guide and style book I have come across has been largely useless and rough reading. Graff and Bir kensteins efforts succeed where these others have failed. Their book is not only accessible, but well divided into manageable parts that are rich in advice, but not overwhelmingly so. I started the book doubtful of their strategies, particularly the use of templates. However, I was quickly won over. I soon came to see that rather than stifling, the templates helped arrange what I was trying to say in a way that made it much easier to make my points. Most of all, this book helped me by reminding me and pr oving to me how a good literary paper comes about. Professors always say that you need to explain why the topic is important for it to be a good paper. This book shows exactly how to do that: by making the paper become a conversation between yourself and other critics, and avoiding summarizing the topic or what has...
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