The Introduction Paragraph: Entering the Academic Conversation
Who are “They?” School Board Parents Journalists Critics Scientists Author’s
Some school officials, such as Head of King’s College School Andrew Halls, say that social media causes students to live lives that are under constant scrutiny leading to negative perceptions of themselves, however, I argue that social media can be empowering for a young adult. 1.) In this thesis, what is the “they say” part of the argument? 2.) In this thesis statement, what is the “I say” part of the argument? Example
“You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations” –Martin Luther King Jr. from Birmingham Jail What is the “they say”? What is the “I say”? Examples:
Adding a “They Say” To Our Writing The following statements all lack a “They Say.” Work on your own or in pairs to re-write the statements with a “they say.” If you finish, write your own statement with a “they say” and “I say.”
Statement 1 “I Say”: Romeo and Juliet is a movie about the dangers of abusing power.
Helpful Templates: • “When I was a child, I used to think that _______, but after reading Romeo and Juliet as a teenager ________ • “At the same time that I believe_______, I also believe______” • “Conventional wisdom has it that Romeo and Juliet is about ______, however, I believe it to be about______”
Statement 2 I say: I am afraid that school uniforms will stifle personal expression.
Helpful Templates • “When I was a child, I used to think that _______, but after reading extensively on the subject, I believe school uniforms________.” • “At the same time that I believe_______, I also believe______.” • “Conventional wisdom has it that school uniforms would ______, however, I believe they would________.”
Example Ex:I agree with the district’s decision to not have school on Monday due to the hazardous conditions the snow would have presented to school bus drivers,but also because of the hazard it would have presented students who walk to school.
Templates -I agree that_______ because my experience_____confirms it. -X is surely right about_______ because, as she may not be aware, recent studies have shown ________ -I agree that ______, a point that needs emphasizing since so many people believe _______ Prompt Through studies done at the University of Counting Sheep, Dr. Nidsleep has found that student performance would improve if high schools implemented a later start time.
“No” So you disagree huh? Very well, but you have to tell your reader WHY you disagree.
-I think that X is mistaken because she overlooks_______. -I disagree with X’s view that ____ because, as recent research has shown, ______ -By focusing on______, X overlooks the deeper problem of_____. -X claims that ______ rests upon the questionable assumption that _____. Prompt Ms. Proper, head of the Oregon City School District, is advocating for a school district wide implementation of uniforms for every student.
“Yes, but…” There may be times when you agree with part of an argument, but disagree with another part.
Example They Say Rachel Frederickson, latest winner of the Biggest Loser and who started the competition weighing 206 pounds, lost 115 pounds, her weight loss being a clear indicator of improved health. Yes, But: Though I agree that weight loss is typically an indicator of improved health, I still insist that being underweight poses as much of a threat to one’s health as being overweight does.
Practice Templates -While X is probably wrong when she claims that_______, she is right that______. -Although I disagree with much of what Mr.H says, I fully endorse his final conclusion that_____. -I’m of two minds about X’s claim that _____. On the one hand, I agree that ____. On the other hand, I’m not sure if_____. Prompt Due to the constant distraction from studies that cell phone use causes students, all high school campus should “black out” cell phone signals on campus and block student access to Wifi in order to help students focus on classroom material and instruction.
Review • “They Say” • “I Say” (three ways of respond to them)
Warning!!! We are about to go deep into essay writing and we are going to cover a lot of material. Please raise your hand with questions when needed and I will do my best to explain everything as clearly as possible as we go. Lets. Do. This.
Should Include a “they say” Include an “I say” Should state your argument/purpose of your paper Should Not Begin to provide evidence for your argument Should not include in depth summary of any of the pieces Introduction Paragraphs
Should: -Topic Sentence -Include textual evidence (They say) -Explanation of Evidence (I say) -Concluding sentence Should Not: -Include more than one idea -be mostly summary Body Paragraphs…Whatcha doin?
Topic Sentence -First sentence of the paragraph -Tells the reader what the paragraph is going to be about -Think of it as the thesis of the paragraph
Topic Sentence Example “One reason that having a baby is an important part of life is the happiness that it can bring to the lives of its parents...”
Evidence • Helps support your argument • If you are writing on a book or article, evidence will be quotes from the source • This is our “They Say”
Example of Evidence: One reason that having a baby is an important part of lifeisthehappinessthatit can bring to the lives of its parents.In a study by Dr.Babyzurasome, he found that “…parents, who were 26 years of age or older, of newborns were on average 44% happier than before having their baby.”
Explanation of Evidence -Used to show reader how the evidence provided supports the argument -allows reader a chance to express their opinion -Tell them what you told them
Example of Explanation One reason that having a baby is an important part of life is the happiness that it can bring to the lives of its parents. In a study by Dr.Babyzurasome, he found that “…parents, who were 26 years of age or older, of newborns were on average 44% happier than before having their baby.”Based on this data, people who are old enough to have babies responsibly, experience increases in happiness.
Concluding Sentence -Relate the paragraph back to the general argument
Example of Concluding Sentence One reason that having a baby is an important part of life is the happiness that it can bring to the lives of its parents. In a study by Dr.Babyzurasome, he found that “…parents, who were 26 years of age or older, of newborns were on average 44% happier than before having their baby.” Based on this data, people who are old to have babies responsibly, experience increases in happiness.This is just one benefit of experiencing the miracle of parenthood.
Example #1 Taylor Swift explained her questionable dancing skills at the 2014 Grammy’s by saying, “this album was some of my most personal work.”
Example #2 In the novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald seems to suggest an inferiority regarding the place of women through his character Daisy who, at one point, mentions that the best thing a girl can grow up to become is a “beautiful little fool” (21).
It is important that every quote is introduced by a statement that gives it some context and is followed by a statement that explains the quote and why it was used. Think of it like this…
“Quote Sandwich/Burger” Statement introducing the quote Quote Statement explaining the relevancy of the quote
Example #1: A Quote Sandwich Miss Watson is a very pious character in the novel Huckleberry Finn. An example of this is when she describes smoking as being “…a mean practice” and saying that it “wasn’t clean” (2). Smoking is an act of the common folk and Miss Watson’s disapproval of Huck smoking reveals her desire for him to live in accordance to a higher and more pious moral code.
Example of a “Hit-and-Run” Quote Susan Bordo writes about women and dieting. “Fiji is just one example. Until television was introduced in 1995, the islands had no reported cases of eating disorders. In 1998, three years after programs from the United States and Britain began broadcasting there, 62 percent of the girls surveyed reported dieting.” I think Bordo is right. Another point Bordo makes is that…
Bordo Revised: Good Example of Quoting The feminist philosopher Susan Bordo deplores Western media obsession with female thinness and dieting. Her basic complaint is that increasing numbers of women across the globe are being led to see themselves as fat and in need of a diet. Citing the islands of Fiji as a case in point, Bordo notes that “until television was introduced in 1995, the islands had no reported cases of eating disorders. In 1998, three years after the program from the United States and Britain began broadcasting there, 62 percent of the girls surveyed reported dieting” (149-50). Bordo’s point is that the western cult of dieting is spreading even to remote places across the globe. Ultimately, Bordo complains, the culture of dieting will find you, regardless of where you live.