For this journal entry, you will read and reflect upon “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating” by Mary Maxfield in They Say, I Say (Ch. 20). In order to successfully complete this journal entry, you will need to identify the conversation Maxfield is participating in about food, politics, and culture. You should use the templates we have learned about so far in order to help you write a reflective journal entry of 300-500 words based on the questions and assignment criteria below. One way to approach this assignment would be to use and adapt the “Template of Templates” in the Introduction to your textbook.

what they’re saying about “they say / i say”

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“The best book that’s happened to teaching composition— ever!” —Karen Gaffney, Raritan Valley Community College

“This book demystifies rhetorical moves, tricks of the trade that many students are unsure about. It’s reasonable, helpful, nicely written . . . and hey, it’s true. I would have found it immensely helpful myself in high school and college.”

—Mike Rose, University of California, Los Angeles

“The argument of this book is important—that there are ‘moves’ to academic writing . . . and that knowledge of them can be generative. The template format is a good way to teach and demystify the moves that matter. I like this book a lot.”

—David Bartholomae, University of Pittsburgh

“My students are from diverse backgrounds and the topics in this book help them to empathize with others who are differ- ent from them.”

—Steven Bailey, Central Michigan University

“A beautifully lucid way to approach argument—different from any rhetoric I’ve ever seen.”

—Anne-Marie Thomas, Austin Community College, Riverside

“Students need to walk a fine line between their work and that of others, and this book helps them walk that line, providing specific methods and techniques for introducing, explaining, and integrating other voices with their own ideas.”

—Libby Miles, University of Vermont

“‘They Say’ with Readings is different from other rhetorics and readers in that it really engages students in the act of writing throughout the book. It’s less a ‘here’s how’ book and more of a ‘do this with me’ kind of book.”

—Kelly Ritter, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“It offers students the formulas we, as academic writers, all carry in our heads.” —Karen Gardiner, University of Alabama

“Many students say that it is the first book they’ve found that actually helps them with writing in all disciplines.”

—Laura Sonderman, Marshall University

“As a WPA, I’m constantly thinking about how I can help instructors teach their students to make specific rhetorical moves on the page. This book offers a powerful way of teach- ing students to do just that.” —Joseph Bizup, Boston University

“The best tribute to ‘They Say / I Say’ I’ve heard is this, from a student: ‘This is one book I’m not selling back to the bookstore.’ Nods all around the room. The students love this book.”

—Christine Ross, Quinnipiac University

“My students love this book. They tell me that the idea of ‘entering a conversation’ really makes sense to them in a way that academic writing hasn’t before.”

—Karen Henderson, Helena College University of Montana

“A concise and practical text at a great price; students love it.” —Jeff Pruchnic, Wayne State University

“ ‘They Say’ contains the best collection of articles I have found. Students respond very well to the readings.”

—Julia Ruengert, Pensacola State College

“It’s the anti-composition text: Fun, creative, humorous, bril- liant, effective.”

—Perry Cumbie, Durham Technical Community College

“A brilliant book. . . . It’s like a membership card in the aca- demic club.” —Eileen Seifert, DePaul University

“The ability to engage with the thoughts of others is one of the most important skills taught in any college-level writing course, and this book does as good a job teaching that skill as any text I have ever encountered.” —William Smith, Weatherford College



The Move s Tha t Ma t t e r i n Academ i c Wr i t i n g




both of the University of Illinois at Chicago


University of Cincinnati

B w . w . n o r t o n & c o m p a n y

n e w y o r k | l o n d o n

W. W. Norton & Company has been independent since its founding in 1923, when William Warder Norton and Mary D. Herter Norton first published lectures delivered at the People’s Institute, the adult education division of New York City’s Cooper Union. The firm soon expanded its program beyond the Institute, publishing books by celebrated academics from America and abroad. By mid-century, the two major pillars of Norton’s publishing program—trade books and college texts—were firmly established. In the 1950s, the Norton family transferred control of the company to its employees, and today—with a staff of four hundred and a comparable number of trade, college, and professional titles published each year—W. W. Norton & Company stands as the largest and oldest publishing house owned wholly by its employees.

Copyright © 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2006 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America

Permission to use copyrighted material is included in the credits section of this book, which begins on page 731.

ISBN 978-0-393-63168-5

W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110

W. W. Norton & Company Ltd., 15 Carlisle Street, London W1D 3BS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
To the great rhetorician Wayne Booth, who cared deeply

about the democratic art of listening closely to what others say.

v i i


preface to the fourth edition xi

preface: Demystifying Academic Conversation xvii

introduction: Entering the Conversation 1

PART 1 . “THEY SAY” 1 “they say”: Starting with What Others Are Saying 19 2 “her point is”: The Art of Summarizing 30 3 “as he himself puts it”: The Art of Quoting 43

PART 2. “ I SAY”

4 “yes / no / okay, but”: Three Ways to Respond 53 5 “and yet”: Distinguishing What You Say

from What They Say 67 6 “skeptics may object”:

Planting a Naysayer in Your Text 77 7 “so what? who cares?”: Saying Why It Matters 91


8 “as a result”: Connecting the Parts 101 9 “you mean i can just say it that way?”:

Academic Writing Doesn’t Mean Setting Aside Your Own Voice 117

10 “but don’t get me wrong”: The Art of Metacommentary 131

11 “he says contends”: Using the Templates to Revise 141


12 “i take your point”: Entering Class Discussions 162 13 don’t make them scroll up:

Entering Online Conversations 166

v i i i

14 what’s motivating this writer?: Reading for the Conversation 176

15 “analyze this”: Writing in the Social Sciences 187



sean blanda, The “Other Side” Is Not Dumb 212

danah boyd, Why America Is Self-Segregating 219

michelle alexander, The New Jim Crow 230

j. d. vance, Hillbilly Elegy 251

gabriela moro, Minority Student Clubs: Segregation or Integration? 269

robert leonard, Why Rural America Voted for Trump 279

joseph e. stiglitz, A Tax System Stacked against the 99 Percent 286

barack obama, Howard University Commencement Speech 296


stephanie owen and isabel sawhill, Should Everyone Go to College? 318

sanford j. ungar, The New Liberal Arts 336

charles murray, Are Too Many People Going to College? 344

liz addison, Two Years Are Better Than Four 365

gerald graff, Hidden Intellectualism 369

mike rose, Blue-Collar Brilliance 377

ben casselman, Shut Up about Harvard 390

steve kolowich, On the Front Lines of a New Culture War 398


i x


nicholas carr, Is Google Making Us Stupid? 424

clive thompson, Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better 441

michaela cullington, Does Texting Affect Writing? 462

jenna wortham, How I Learned to Love Snapchat 474

carole cadwalladr, Google, Democracy, and the Truth about Internet Search 480

kenneth goldsmith, Go Ahead: Waste Time on the Internet 500

sherry turkle, No Need to Call 505

zeynep tufekci, Does a Protest’s Size Matter? 525


anne-marie slaughter, Why Women Still Can’t Have It All 534

richard dorment, Why Men Still Can’t Have It All 555

raynard kington, I’m Gay and African American. As a Dad, I Still Have It Easier Than Working Moms. 576

laurie frankel, From He to She in First Grade 583

andrew reiner, Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest 589

stephen mays, What about Gender Roles in Same-Sex Relationships? 596

kate crawford, Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem 599

nicholas eberstadt, Men without Work 605


michael pollan, Escape from the Western Diet 624

olga khazan, Why Don’t Convenience Stores Sell Better Food? 632



mary maxfield, Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating 641

david zinczenko, Don’t Blame the Eater 647

radley balko, What You Eat Is Your Business 651

michael moss, The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food 656

david h. freedman, How Junk Food Can End Obesity 681

sara goldrick-rab, katharine broton, emily brunjes colo, Expanding the National School Lunch Program to Higher Education 713

credits 731

acknowledgments 737

index of templates 751

index of authors and titles 767


x i

preface to the fourth edition


When we first set out to write this book, our goal was simple: to offer a version of “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with an anthology of readings that would demonstrate the rhetorical moves “that matter.” And because “They Say” teaches students that academic writ- ing is a means of entering a conversation, we looked for read- ings on topics that would engage students and inspire them to respond—and to enter the conversations. Our purpose in writing “They Say” has always been to offer students a user-friendly model of writing that will help them put into practice the important principle that writing is a social activity. Proceeding from the premise that effec- tive writers enter conversations of other writers and speakers, this book encourages students to engage with those around them—including those who disagree with them—instead of just expressing their ideas “logically.” We believe it’s a model more necessary than ever in today’s increasingly diverse—and some might say divided—society. In this spirit, we have added a new chapter, “How Can We Bridge the Differences That Divide Us?,” with readings that represent different perspectives on those divides—and what we might do to overcome them. Our own experience teaching first-year writing students has led us to believe that to be persuasive, arguments need not only supporting evidence but also motivation and exigency,

x i

and that the surest way to achieve this motivation and exigency is to generate one’s own arguments as a response to those of others—to something “they say.” To help students write their way into the often daunting conversations of academia and the wider public sphere, the book provides templates to help them make sophisticated rhetorical moves that they might otherwise not think of attempting. And of course learning to make these rhetorical moves in writing also helps students become better readers of argument. The two versions of “They Say / I Say” are now being taught at more than 1,500 schools, which suggests that there is a wide- spread desire for explicit instruction that is understandable but not oversimplified, to help writers negotiate the basic moves necessary to “enter the conversation.” Instructors have told us how much this book helps their students learn how to write academic discourse, and some students have written to us saying that it’s helped them to “crack the code,” as one student put it. This fourth edition of “They Say / I Say” with Readings includes forty readings—half of them new—on five compel- ling and controversial issues. The selections provide a glimpse into some important conversations taking place today—and will, we hope, provoke students to respond and thus to join in those conversations.


Forty readings that will prompt students to think—and write. Taken from a wide variety of sources, including the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal,, best-selling books, policy reports, student-run journals, celebrated speeches, and more,


x i i
the readings represent a range of perspectives on five important issues:

• How Can We Bridge the Differences That Divide Us? • Is College the Best Option? • Are We in a Race against the Machine? • What’s Gender Got to Do with It? • What’s There to Eat?

The readings can function as sources for students’ own writing, and the study questions that follow each reading focus students’ attention on how each author uses the key rhetorical moves taught in the book. Additionally, one question invites students to write, and often to respond with their own views.

Two books in one, with a rhetoric up front and readings in the back. The two parts are linked by cross-references in the margins, leading from the rhetoric to specific examples in the readings and from the readings to the corresponding writ- ing instruction. Teachers can therefore begin with either the rhetoric or the readings, and the links will facilitate movement between one section and the other.

A chapter on reading (Chapter 14) encourages students to think of reading as an act of entering conversations. Instead of teaching students merely to identify the author’s argument, this chapter shows them how to read with an eye for what arguments the author is responding to—in other words, to think carefully about why the writer is making the argument in the first place, and thus to recognize (and ultimately become a part of) the larger conversation that gives meaning to read- ing the text. To continue with the answer check on

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