Chapter 2, 3 and 4 Response

15 Sep

Summarizing is what chapter 2 is all about. This chapter reminds us that while including the opinion of others in our writing, not only does it have to be present but it has to be summarized well and with no bias. While knowing what you believe as the writer, you have to be an actor/actress and pretend for a while that you are on the other side. Step into the shoes of others and see what they see for a moment. There was an example in the beginning where an author summarizes the writing of another author, that he clearly dislikes, and he makes it very well known by speaking very negatively about what this other author had to say.

“David Zinczenko’s article, “Don’t Blame the Eater,” is nothing more than an angry rant in which he accuses the fast, food companies of an evil conspiracy to make people fat. I disagree because these companies have to make money ….”

He didn’t write with an open mind, he attacked the other writer. This makes his writing very unbalanced and untrue in a way. I say untrue because as the chapter says Zinczenko’s tone was never angry as this author said about his writing.

“While Zinczenko does argue that the practices of the fast’ food industry have the effect of making people fat, his tone is never “angry,” and he never goes so far as to suggest that the fast, food industry conspires to make people fat with deliberately evil intent.”

 The chapter teaches us that by writing with no bias you are keeping the original ideas of the author you are summarizing and not distorting or making up your own meaning for their writing. Both sides have to be 100% true and balanced in the writing. 


 “The point we want to emphasize is that quoting what “they say” must always be connected with what you say.” As the quote says the main idea of chapter 3 is using quotations from an opposing or agreeing author and connecting them to your own text. The chapter talks about how some people may under or over use quotes and others use quotes in the place of explanation. Quotes are very useful if they are placed correctly and used properly. I have a personal experience with quotes. I was peer reading an essay for a friend and their quotes they included in their writing were very random. They didn’t quite go with the point of their paper. They were just trying to meet the requirements for the essay. This was an example the reading gave also.

 “But the main problem with quoting arises when writers

assume that quotations speak for themselves. Because the

meaning of a quotation is obvious to them, many writers assume

that this meaning will also be obvious to their readers, when

often it is not.”

My friend had no explanation behind her quotes so I, as the reader, didn’t quite get why they were in her essay. She later explained to me why verbally but the point was to make it known in her essay so the reader could comprehend if she wasn’t there to explain. This was what the chapter focused on. Quoting Isn’t just repeating what another author said. It’s using what they said and explaining and adding to it to make your OWN opinion make sense. 

 Chapter 4 is about choosing and applying in your text whether or not you are agreeing, disagreeing, or doing a little of both with the author you are deciding to include in your text. Graff and Birkenstein talk about how if a person does not show their position on a subject in their writing well in the beginning or close to that, the audience will not know whether or not the writer agrees or disagrees with their opposing author. This confuses the audience and they lose interest quickly. By letting your reader know what your take is on the subject you are writing about, they have a better chance of understanding and being interested in what you have to say as the text goes on. It is very hard to follow a text when there is no clear indication of what the writer wants you to get from it. Though their opinion may be there, as the reader, we don’t quite know what it is until they state what they believe (agree, disagree, a bit of both) clearly in the text.



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