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K-State Today

October 9, 2012

Graff and Birkenstein to speak Friday on 'Demystifying Academic Writing'

Submitted by Karin Westman

They Say I Say Graff and Birkenstein

On Friday, Oct. 12, Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein from the University of Illinois, Chicago, will present a public lecture on "Demystifying Academic Writing" at 4 p.m. in Town Hall at the Leadership Studies Building.

Their talk develops from their best-selling, cross-disciplinary composition textbook, "They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing."

"They Say/I Say" helps students to frame arguments in the larger context of what else has been said about a topic. Each chapter offers strategies for summarizing what others have said — "they say" — to set up one's own argument — "I say." The book also provides templates to help students make key rhetorical moves.

Now in its second edition, "They Say/I Say" is in use at more than 1,000 schools, colleges and universities.

Graff is a professor of English and education and 2008 president of the Modern Language Association of America. His distinguished career includes such books as "Professing Literature: An Institutional History," "Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education" and most recently, "Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind."

Cathy Birkenstein is a lecturer in English aand co-director of the Writing in the Disciplines program at the University of Chicago, Illinois. She has published essays on writing in academic journals, and she has given talks and workshops with Graff at numerous colleges. She is currently working on a study of common misunderstandings surrounding academic discourse.

The lecture is sponsored by the department of English and its program in expository writing. For more information, visit the English department's website or contact english@k-state.edu.

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