They say / I say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing” is a best-selling book by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, explaining academic writing in a complex but apprehendable manner. It’s appreciated worldwide both by academics and students, and since its first edition in 2014 it’s been used in more than a 1000 schools. It’s an essential guide for everyone aiming to learn framing their thoughts in a clear and persuading way. The authors give an insightful description of academic writing, present the key rhetorical moves and provide useful guides and templates for certain types of text. The most important competence in academic writing, according to Graff and Birkenstein, is summarizing the existing work of others (“They say”) to build up our own arguments (“I say”). The book teaches comprehensible and effective techniques of formulating assumption, reasoning and concluding the argument. It also introduces ways of improving your critical thinking as a writer and inspires to “join the conversation” in your field.

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