Academic writing can be challenging, especially when it comes to presenting arguments and ideas effectively. The “They Say I Say” method is a popular framework that can help writers engage with their audience and make their writing more persuasive. In this article, we will explore what the “They Say I Say” method is, why it is significant in academic writing, and how you can use it to enhance your own writing.
What is the “They Say I Say” Method?
The “They Say I Say” method is a framework for structuring academic writing, introduced by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein in their book of the same name. The method involves three main components:
- They Say: This refers to the point that is being argued or discussed by others.
- I Say: This is the writer’s response or argument regarding the issue at hand.
- So What?: This explains the significance of the writer’s response or argument and its implications.
The “They Say I Say” method can be used in various types of academic writing, from research papers to essays and dissertations. It provides writers with a clear structure that allows them to present their ideas in an organized and persuasive manner.
Examples of Successful “They Say I Say” Essays
To better understand the effectiveness of the “They Say I Say” method, let’s take a look at some examples of successful essays that have used this framework.
In their article “The ‘Banking’ Concept of Education”, Freire and Macedo effectively use the “They Say I Say” method to present their argument against the traditional banking concept of education. They begin by summarizing the views of traditional educators and then present their own argument against it, using persuasive language and examples to support their claim.
In her research paper “The Benefits of Gardening for Mental Health”, Amenda Thomas uses the “They Say I Say” method to structure her argument in favor of gardening as a valuable activity to improve mental health. She starts by presenting the arguments of experts who endorse gardening as a beneficial activity, and then provides her own argument in support of this claim with concrete examples and statistics.
These examples illustrate how the “They Say I Say” method can enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of academic writing.
Benefits of Using the “They Say I Say” Method
Using the “They Say I Say” method can provide numerous benefits for academic writers, including:
- Improved clarity and structure in your writing
- Clear communication of your ideas and arguments
- Engagement with the reader through the use of persuasion and counterarguments.
This method helps writers to focus more on signposting their arguments and communicating their ideas more clearly, leading to a more engaging and readable piece of writing overall.
Tips for Using the “They Say I Say” Method
To effectively use the “They Say I Say” method, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use persuasive language: Use strong verbs and adjectives to make your arguments more compelling
- Provide counterarguments: Address opposing views and provide appropriate counterarguments to demonstrate the strength of your argument
- Use reliable sources: Cite trustworthy sources to lend credibility to your argument
- Avoid overusing the framework: Don’t force every sentence to fit the “They Say I Say” structure; let the argument flow naturally and use the framework as needed.
Keeping these tips in mind can help you create a more engaging and effective essay or research paper.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
While the “They Say I Say” method is widely used and effective, there are some common mistakes that writers can make when using it:
- Overuse of generic phrases: Avoid using generic phrases like “some people say” or “according to experts” and be more specific in your introduction of sources
- Failing to engage with sources: Don’t simply “quote” your sources – analyze and engage with them to create a more persuasive argument
- Neglecting your own voice: Remember that the “I say” part of the method is where you can provide your own unique perspective and analysis of the topic at hand.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that you are using the “They Say I Say” method effectively and engaging readers with your writing.
- The “They Say I Say” method is a popular framework for structuring academic writing.
- The method involves presenting the arguments or views of others (They Say), responding with your own argument (I Say), and explaining the significance of your argument (So What?).
- Using the “They Say I Say” method can lead to enhanced clarity, effective communication, and engagement with your readers.
- Effective use of this method involves using persuasive language, providing counterarguments, citing reliable sources, and avoiding common mistakes such as overuse of generic phrases, failing to engage with sources, and neglecting your own voice.
The “They Say I Say” method is a valuable tool for academic writers. When used effectively, it can help to enhance the persuasiveness and clarity of your writing. By following the tips and examples provided in this article, you can become proficient in using this method to make your writing more engaging and effective.
Q: Can I use the “They Say I Say” method in all types of academic writing?A: Yes, the “They Say I Say” method can be used in all types of academic writing, from research papers to essays and dissertations.
Q: How can I avoid overusing the “They Say I Say” method in my writing?A: Don’t force every sentence to fit the “They Say I Say” structure. Let the argument flow naturally and use the framework as needed.
Q: What are some common mistakes when using the “They Say I Say” method?A: Some common mistakes include overusing generic phrases, failing to engage with sources, and neglecting your own voice in the argument.