Senior Thesis Introductory Assignment: An Introduction to the Concept of “They Say I Say” and to Professional Models Beginning now and continuing into the first half of the second semester, you will begin working on the senior thesis. This is an opportunity to investigate a subject that is of interest to you. Your job between now and March/April: Learn about/review the techniques that strong writers utilize when writing an argument, explore professional models where a central research question is posed and grappled with, investigate topics of interest to you, create a worthwhile research question based on your chosen topic, and investigate it in a written paper and oral presentation. In completing this project, you will formulate and investigate a central research question and build upon the reading and writing skills you have developed over the last four years at MVHS. Step one in the process: 1. Check out the book They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing from the TBC 2. Read and take Cornell notes on pages 1-41. Use the guided Cornell notes pages that are given to you. Step two in the process: Read, annotate, and analyze professional models where writers investigate a central research question in articles dealing with different subjects. Your goal is to see how a professional writer takes on a research question and explores it in an effective and engaging manner. You should also note how they utilize the “They Say, I Say” model of argumentation. Please follow the steps below in the completion of step 2: 1. Read and annotate the article for the writing process (Claims, evidence, commentary, where you see the “They Say, I Say” model being utilized, etc.) 2. Complete the argumentation organizer for each article On 10/17/13 you will bring the articles and completed organizers to class. You must read and complete the organizer for: 1. “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy” by Lori Gottlieb (The Atlantic)… found online in the senior thesis folder 2. “The Order of Things” by Malcom Gladwell (The New Yorker)… found online in the senior thesis folder 3. Your choice from the list below… found online in the senior thesis folder Choose 1 of the 3 articles in this list to read and complete the organizer: 1. “Beautiful Brains” by David Dobbs (National Geographic) 2. “Visible Man: Ethics in a World Without Secrets” by Peter Singer (Harper’s) 3. “The End of White America” by Hua Hsu (Atlantic) Cornell Notes Topic: They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Introduction Why did Gerald Graff and Cathy Bikenstein decide to write their book, “They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing.”? Please explain the concept of “They Say, I Say” Why would instructors want their students to use academic language templates? How are they helpful? Any possible downfalls? What is the author’s opinion about using the “I” in academic writing? Why? Benefits? When should you be careful in using the “I”? How do academic language templates and critical thinking go hand in hand? Why is the “They Say, I Say” template the most important one for students to master? How should the “They Say, I Say” template be reflected in your writing? How does it help you in the formulation of a thesis statement when you write an argument? Please explain how Martin Luther King Jr. used the “They Say, I Say” template in his “Letter From Birmingham Jail” Sometimes the “They Say” is considered a “phantom” presence. Please explain this concept. What are Graff and Birkenstein’s arguments against the notion that sentence templates “stifle creativity”? Please explain what “putting in your oar” means in terms of the writing process. Your Turn: Now apply the concept of using academic sentence frames by completing exercise #2 on page 15 of the book. Chapter 1 In chapter one of the book, the authors say writers must not only clearly indicate what the thesis is, but must also do what and why? When constructing an argument why is it important to begin writing by considering “what others are saying” and summarizing those ideas before getting into their own ideas? What is a “standard view” in writing? Briefly summarize or bullet point different ways that you, or any writer, can utilize to introduce what others are saying in your writing. Please explain what Graff and Birkenstein mean by the concept “keep what ‘they say’ in view”? Your Turn: Please complete either exercise #1 or #2 on pages 28-29 of the book. Chapter 2 Please explain what Graff and Birkenstein mean by the term “summarizing.” What must you make sure to do in order to summarize effectively? Explain the concept of “putting yourself in their shoes” Explain the concept of “knowing where you are going” Please explain why using signal words are critical in summarizing someone else’s argument? You Turn: Write a summary of your Cornell notes, summarizing the most important points that writers need to keep in mind while working on a written argument.
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