They Say, I Say Chapter 6 on “Skeptics May Object”: Planting a Naysayer in Your Text



Note: This discussion is one in which the class is split up into two groups in hopes of greater potential for “cross-pollination” (productive sharing) of ideas, articles, and other prep for the essay that is specific to your chosen article. The first group is everyone who posted about being interested in the “Is College the Best Option?” readings. The second group includes all other topics.

Begin by watching the lecture on body paragraphs for academic writing.

Then, read and annotate the following:

  • They Say, I Say Chapter 6 on “Skeptics May Object”: Planting a Naysayer in Your Text
  • They Say, I Say Chapter 7 on “So What? Who Cares?”: Saying Why it Matters

The second section of assigned reading for Friday consists of two articles outside your selected chapter of readings on your topic. See below for instructions on what articles are suitable and where to find these.

  • Initial 350-word Post
  • One 150-word Response to Classmate
  • 20 points total

Your Own Initial Post:

Your homework includes doing a bit of outside research related to the main article you’ve selected to agree or disagree with for the next essay. Find at least two articles from reputable news sites or the They Say, I Say website. There are a few ways you can find suitable articles, and I’m listing those options here in order of preference/reliability:

  • browsing through articles and selecting one from the They Say, I Say website
    • This is the online resource for the textbook which has many opinion articles on the same exact topics as Chapters 16-20. Take a look at the right-hand side which has titles of each topic, and click on the one that corresponds to your selected chapter. That should bring up a number of articles for you to sift through and select from (I recommend going through many titles and selecting which ones to read based on how related they are to your main article).
  • looking through the “Opinion” section of reputable news sites like
    • Note the word “reputable” here. Your argument is only as strong as the evidence that backs you up, so be sure to choose articles from news sites you are familiar with and ones that have not had credibility issues in the past. If you have any questions about this, feel free to send me a message to check.
  • doing a google search for “__(insert issue or topic)__ + opinion article” and making sure the one you choose is from an appropriate, reputable source.
    • Again, see the note above. If you are unfamiliar with the publication or website the article comes from, how might your audience respond to an argument that cites it as evidence? Keep this in mind and let me know if you have questions.

1. Find, read, and annotate the articles you’re comfortable learning more about and potentially building an argument around for the next essay.

2. Once you’ve settled on two articles, submit a post of 350 words or more that links us to the articles. Then, use one or more of the agree/disagree/both simultaneously templates in “Yes / No / Okay, But” to revisit the article and create a TEA paragraph/quote sandwich for each article. If you’re confused or unsure about this structure of writing, refer back to the examples and the lecture video. We just want to see that you’re making a solid effort at attempting to use this academic format in preparation for the next essay.

A TEA paragraph or quote sandwich is a well-developed body paragraph you could use in an argument or essay. There are many acronyms and ways of thinking of the quote sandwich, and if you haven’t heard of “TEA” (Topic sentence, Evidence, Analysis) you may have heard of PIE: Point (the main point which includes a topic sentence), Information (your introduction, integration, and quoting of relevant evidence), Explanation (your analysis and explanation of the evidence in order to deepen the reader’s understanding of why you are making this point, why this quote shows something interesting or new, and why this matters – who cares? so what?). These acronyms are interchangeable, and I recommend thinking of it in a way that makes sense to you. Basically it’s a way of using what we learned in “The Art of Quoting” to frame a quote strongly with your ideas and voice.

Once you’ve successfully created two TEA paragraphs, feel free to expand on your analysis or respond viscerally or with take-aways for any of what you read (the articles you found, the chapters you read, etc.). You can also offer questions for us to think about or answer together. Technical questions or questions about the text are absolutely welcome, but open-ended or “How” questions are generally more thought-provoking than “Yes/No” questions.

This initial post on the readings should be proofread and 350 words or more.

As an example, here’s a quote sandwich my previous class created on an article we read together…

Quote Sandwich After Reading “Yes / No / Okay, But” Using an Agree and Disagree Simultaneously Template:

I both agree and disagree with “The Slot Machine in Your Pocket” by Tristan Harris. Harris is right that apps are addictive and prey on our vulnerabilities, but he seems on more dubious ground when he claims, “We need our smartphones to be exoskeletons for our minds” (Harris 5). Rather than seeing our phones as the structure or integral part of who we are, they are just an extension and a tool for us. Harris’ argument puts too much control and power in the hands of developers, and that is actually contrary to our values.

–> Note that the templates can be used in any part of the sandwich (topic sentence, evidence, analysis) depending on how you want them to help you prove your point.

Your Reply to a Classmate:

Select any post from one of your classmates to create a reply. If the post already has two replies, respond to a different post. This should be a thoughtful, engaged response to the writer that shows a brief acknowledgement of what the writer is saying and then moves to using one of the ways of responding below to create additional dialogue on the text. Rather than repeating points, try to deepen, expand, or complicate what your classmate is saying. You might also bring in points from the chapters or other texts we’ve read if they help you synthesize some of the ideas already present in the initial post or thread.

● Reflection: What did your peer’s post make you rethink or reconsider that you may not have thought about regarding the readings? What impact did it have on your thinking about key ideas? e.g., “Before reading this text I had assumed X, but now I see Y.”
● Extension: Where else could your peer’s analysis of the readings go? Can it be applied to other texts? What other parts of language or argumentation did it make you think about? “The text offers an intriguing look at X, but I wonder if what he/she says could apply equally to Y.”

This reply post should be proofread and 150 words or more. Beyond this required reply post, feel free to create additional replies or comments for other classmates’ posts.



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