Saturday, June 28, 2008

Persuasive Academic Writing

A new primer on academic writing worth recommending to students and other faculty is Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, "They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Persuasive Writing (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2008). Here is a sample of their premise: "For us, the underlying structure of effective academic writing -- and of responsible public discourse -- resides not just in stating our own ideas, but in listening closely to others around us, summarizing their views in a way that they will recognize, and responding with our own ideas in kind. Broadly speaking, academic writing is argumentative writing, and we believe that to argue well you need to do more than assert your own ideas" (p. 3). This is a useful little book.

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