formal #2

Formal Essay #2– They Say, I Say

Whereas your first essay focused on summarizing an argument and offering a response, you will now write a paper that extends upon that practice adding in the other elements we have since learned about.

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Your task will be to argue your point by, as Graff, Birkenstein and Durst have put it, “entering a conversation”. You will choose one of the essays listed below and offer a response to it. You will deliver your stance on the issue by summarizing the argument of the author (“they say”) and offering your response to the arguments made (“I say”). You can use additional essays from the chapter as support for your own ideas, but you should construct your own argument in response to one particular text. When you use quotes, make sure you “sandwich” them, as described in Chapter Three. It is highly recommended that you go back and review the first seven chapters and familiarize yourself with templates and verb/sentence choices.


Your goal, and what your paper will be evaluated by, is to offer a commentary as a response to an idea that someone else has put out there. You are treating the article you choose as a “they say”. Remember to respond by either the agree, disagree or agree and disagree methods (Chapter Four).


Additionally, you will now add the “naysayer” (Chapter Six) and you will address the “who cares” and “so what” (Chapter Seven).


You must choose one of the readings listed below. You will not receive a passing grade if you do not select one of the following texts. The only readings you may choose are the following:


Chapter 16:

Alexander, Michelle, The New Jim Crow
Obama, Barack, Howard University Commencement Speech
Chapter 17

Kolowich, Steve, “On the Front Lines of a New Culture War”
Chapter 18

Cullington, Michaela, “Does Texting Affect Writing”
Goldsmith, Kenneth, “Go Ahead, Waste Time on The Internet”
Chapter 19

Kington, Raynard, “I’m Gay and African American. As a Dad, I Still Have It Easier Than Working Moms”
Frankel, Laurie, “From He to She in the First Grade”
Chapter 20:

Goldrick-Rab, Broton & Colo, “Expanding the National School Lunch Program to Higher Education”



Critically read and understand new content, demonstrating the comprehension of a main idea and the nuances of the information that an author presents and they methods that they do so.
Create a meaningful dialogue between your own ideas and critical sources
Properly integrate source material
Join and contribute to a pre-existing academic and social dialogue.



Paragraph One-Two: Present the They Say. You must include the author, the title and the main idea of your source. You should also present the overall topic the author is discussing as well as the reasoning and logic the author uses to make his/her argument.
Paragraph Two-Four: Your I Say – what is your response to the author’s point? It should be very clear which stance you are taking (agree and add, disagree or agree and disagree)
Paragraph Five: Introduce your naysayers and respond to them
Paragraph Six-Seven – Who Cares? – Who is this issue affecting?
Paragraph Eight – So What? What is at stake here? Why does this issue and your stance on it matter?
Requirements for submission:

Typed, Submitted to Canvas and printed hard copy (see syllabus), 4-5 pages
Complete and Accurate MLA formatting

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