They Say / I Say Analysis

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Assignment: They Say / I Say Analysis Required length: 800 words. (Yes, 795 is fine. No, 735 is not.) In They Say / I Say, Birkenstein and Graff give you templates for arguments. They’re helpful learning tools, but let’s see if we can identify these parts of an argument in a real writing situation. For this paper, you will choose a chapter in Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath — any chapter, including the introduction, will work — and explain how Gladwell uses the They Say / I Say format to forward his argument. Things you will want to address in your paper: • They Say: How does Gladwell bring us up to speed on the current discussion regarding the chapter’s topic? What arguments does he summarize, which experts does he quote, and how does he get us current on the conversation? • I Say: How does Gladwell respond to the current thinking? What evidence does he offer to support his argument? Does he plant a naysayer in his text? And how does he demonstrate that his topic is important to his audience? What’s the bigger meaning here? • Tying it All Together: Gladwell often gives us some very different examples; how does he show their connections? Does he use any metacommentary in his argument? You will earn an A and all 100 points for this assignment if you: • Can identify Gladwell’s thesis or main point for the chapter. • Can effectively analyze how Gladwell explains and argues his point, using some specific examples from the chapter. • Address how They Say, I Say, and Connections are all used in the chapter. • Have a well-structured paper with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Your intro will probably be a quick summary of the chapter, including the thesis, and a statement or two about how Gladwell carefully constructs his arguments. Your conclusion will probably speak to the importance of conducting an argument analysis: why is this type of exercise important? What do we learn from this? • Use proper grammar, mechanics, and word choice. • Follow MLA formatting. You are not creating your own argument here, nor are you summarizing, agreeing, or disagreeing with Gladwell’s argument. Your task is to analyze how Gladwell’s argument works. No citations are required for this paper, though if you do refer to any sources, you will need to cite them appropriately.

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