For this class you are working on a number of dimensions of good writing, one of which is effectively writing with readers in mind. The book by Graff and Birkensten, They Say, I Say,(hereafter referred as “Graff”) is intended to learn structures for presenting ideas with readers as the point of the writing. Therefore, every week you’ll be assigned chapters to read and, following the reading, exercises to complete.

Below is the first activity.

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Read Graff: Introduction (pp 1-14), Chapter One (pp 19-28).

After completing the reading, complete the following activity:

The following is a list of arguments that lack a “they say” — any sense of who needs to hear these claims, who might think otherwise. Like the speaker in the cartoon on page 4 who declares that The Sopranos presents complex characters, these one-sided arguments fail to explain what view they are responding to — what view, in effect, they are trying to correct, add to, qualify, complicate, and so forth. Your job is to provide each argument listed below with such a counter view, a “they say” to its “I say.” Try to use any templates, or variations of these templates, in Chapter One that you find helpful. I’ve offered you the first one as an example.

The original “I Say”:

Our experiments suggest that there are dangerous levels of chemical X in the Pennsylvania groundwater.

The new version with the added “They Say”:

While some scientists claim that Philadelphia’s drinking water has never been safer, our experiments suggest that there are dangerous levels of chemical X in the Pennsylvania groundwater.

Now you do it for the following claims. Here are the four “I say” arguments for you to add “they say”:

  1. Material forces drive history.
  2. Proponents of Freudian psychology question standard notions of “rationality.”
  3. Male students often dominate class discussions.
  4. The film is about problems of romantic relationships.

How to Submit:

Compose your work in a writing program such as Microsoft Word.