“They Say/ I Say”

In the textbook (“They say/I say”: the moves that matter in academic writing, with readings/ Gerald Graff, University of Illinois at Chicago; Cathy Birkenstein, University of Illinois at Chicago; Russel Durst, University of Cincinnati. – Third Edition.) read the Introduction (Entering the Conversation) and chapters 1 (“THEY SAY…”), 2 (“HER POINT IS…”), 3 (“AS HE HIMSELF PUTS IT…”), 4 (“YES/NO/OKAY, BUT…”), 5 (“AND YET…”), 6 (“SKEPTICS MAY OBJECT…”), 7 (“SO WHAT? WHO CARES? …”), 10 (“BUT DON’T GET ME WRONG…”), 14 (“WHAT’S MOTIVATING THIS WRITER?”), and Michael Pollan ((Escape from the Western Diet) on page 420), Steven Shapin ((What Are You Buying When You Buy Organic?) on page 428), Mary Maxfield ((Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating) on page 442), David H. Freedman ((How Junk Food Can End Obesity) on page 506). You will be writing a “They Say/ I Say” paper on Michael Pollan ((Escape from the Western Diet) on page 420), Steven Shapin ((What Are You Buying When You Buy Organic?) on page 428), Mary Maxfield ((Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating) on page 442), and David H. Freedman ((How Junk Food Can End Obesity) on page 506). The Introduction and Chapters 1, 2, 3,4,5,6,7,10, and 14 are to help you know how to read the assigned readings and help you write a good “They say/ I Say” paper. NO more than 15% should be quoted in the essay. Requirements: The paper is six pages, about 12 to 14 paragraphs, formatted in MLA with correct MLA documentation and a works cited entry. When writing the “They say/ I say” essay, write the body paragraphs first then write the opening and closing. Also, when writing the “They say/ I say” essay you do not have to follow the listed order of the assigned readings. Just use the parts from the assigned readings that follow your interest. Read the assigned readings and write the “They say/ I say” essay from the prospective/focus of the moral element of food (food choice). DO NOT put all the “They Say” in at the beginning and “I Say” at the end. The “They Say” and “I Say” need to work together and flow with each other. When you quote or paraphrase, introduce the quote/paraphrase and after quoting/paraphrasing give some (interpretation, analysis, interrogation, examination) on/about the quote/paraphrase. Also, elucidate, elaborate, and clarify your and the author’s thoughts throughout the paper. Synthesize, and give some commentary and metacommentary in the essay. Audience: We can assume the readers are aware of the topic as one of significance for some portion of the culture, especially for those who have begun to participate in the exchange of ideas, the “conversation.” The immediate reader is a classmate who has two interests in the work: first to learn about the article, its ideas and its thinking and second, to see how one could shape a writing into this “they say/ I say” configuration, as a guide to being ready for other academic discourse (papers). Organization: (these points are given in the most rudimentary fashion as reminders more than directions) however the general characteristics for the sections/parts of the paper should be used as a guide for some stage in the composing process. Opening: (Opening is ONE paragraph) At the outset, the reader must be given a careful sense of the article, its thinking and the “place” it might have in the larger discourse. In addition, the needed and necessary frame for the discussion taken up in the article should be apparent, a sense of context and relevance. To complete the opening, the reader needs to be given enough sense of the meaningfulness of the thinking so that what follows in the essay has a basis. It would be helpful to think of the opening as the basic and necessary preparation for the complexity of the work to come in the body of the paper. Closing: (Closing is ONE paragraph) In the effort to be complete and complex, the closing must be able to take account of the work done and the necessary steps to complete the thought being offered and investigated. In order to show this sense of the “conversation” the closing must be free to point forward to the next line of thought worth our consideration or to revisit some of the more fundamental points having been explored. The writing must make sense, so that an average reader can understand the author’s thoughts. Overall, word choices need to be appropriate and make sense. An “A” range paper contains original ideas about the texts which are persuasively argued and effectively articulated. The “A” paper does what it sets out to do and leaves no loose ends for the reader to trip upon. The reading of an “A” paper is smooth and easy; the reader is not distracted by awkwardness. The structure is clean and precise; the ideas flow logically from one to the next, and they are arranged to achieve a maximum effect on the reader. Not only is an “A” range paper coherent and informative, but often there is an element of creativity or “play” apparent which, while present, does not compromise the writer’s tone. The ideas are developed to their fullest: seemingly contrary ideas are dealt with in a satisfying manner, so that the full complexity of a text is acknowledged in a way that makes the writer’s argument all the more rich and satisfying (note: this does not mean the use of such waffling techniques as, “it could mean this, but it could also mean that, too.”) In the end, the “A” paper leaves the reader with a new understanding of the text. The writer of an “A” range paper chooses a subject that is appropriate for the length of the assignment– he or she gives him- herself enough to write about, without choosing a topic so big that it cannot possibly be covered in 6 pages. The writer has spent the time to think about and develop original ideas about the text and has taken care in articulating those ideas. Paper has mastered adapting an appropriate tone for an academic paper, and does not unnecessarily include him- or herself in the paper with such phrases as “I think” and “I feel.” Paper uses appropriate evidence from the texts to back up her or his arguments. Introductions introduce, conclusions conclude, and there is nary a superfluous sentence in sight. The biggest challenge the writer of an “A” range paper faces is usually developing the ideas he or she sets out to examine; this often results from not preparing for the essay properly by re- “reading” the text and marking or making notes of every instance that could provide support for the argument; thus, an important opportunity is missed, and the paper suffers from this. The degree to which one is conversant with the ideas and thinking should be made apparent to the audience. Sources, Quotes, and Summary need MLA documentation. Sources like Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and line of thinking are in your words/style and need MLA documentation. Exposition, your interpretation, analysis, explanation, examination, synthesis, interrogation, commentary, metacommentary, problematizing are in your words and style and do not need MLA documentation. Important: You must use these sentences from Steven Shapin on page 435, “There is no way to make food choices without making moral choices as well, and anthropologists have had much to say about the inevitable link between what’s good to eat and what’s good to think. Decisions about how we want our food produced and delivered are decisions about what counts as social virtue” do not directly quote it but paraphrase it.

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