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chapter 7 and 8

18 Nov

Chapter 7 was all about the “so what?” and “who cares?” of writing. When reading we find out what the when writing anything one must ask themselves who cares about this? For the “so what” the author describes it like this, “‘so what?’ asks about real -world applications and consequences of those claims …” Something we pointed out in class that helped me to better understand was that, when you are writing something that is either going against or even agreeing with another person, that what you are writing is a part of something way bigger and something that wasn’t started by you. It is a part of a “bigger conversation” that not only you are interested in. That stood out to me because when I am writing a paper about something and I use  quotes or something from another text in my text then I am adding to something and I have to remember that someone already has thrown out an opinion about what I am saying. I also have to remember to give justice to the person who had the idea before me. Its just really helpful to me because I tend to write with my opinion in mind a lot. While I should keep my opinion in my writing I can’t just totally block out the fact that people have opinions on it too. The templates given in this chapter were really helpful too. I am bad at incorporating my opinion with others especially if I disagree with them. So these really helped.

Chapter 8 connected well with chapter 7  by talking about transitions and connecting your terms, ideas, sentences, etc. The quote that  helped me understand this was this: “when writing lacks such connections and moves in fits and starts, readers repeatedly have to go back over the sentences and guess at the connections on their own” This quote really stood out because I could totally relate to it. Sometimes when I read I have to keep going back to re-read, granted when that happens I am usually reading something I’m not interested in or something that is super complex to me. But the fact of the matter is I have to keep starting over and it’s time consuming. This chapter talks about how to possibly prevent that. Some of the ways the chapter talks about helping that is, using transition terms, adding pointing words, using certain key terms and phrases all over your text, repeat things but change them up a little each time. These things can help to make a common essay or piece of writing into something impactful and easy to understand. This chapter was super helpful.

Google and The Future of Books

21 Oct

I think Darton’s main focus was talking about how Google wants to get texts out so anyone can read them. They want  to improve learning by having texts available to anyone at anytime. In the article it talks about the suit against Google and how they were going against copyright laws. The Google lawsuit was resolved with a very intricate and detailed settlement stating that Google could still make texts available to anyone but some of the texts would be locked to some public unless they had a certain kind of license to view the texts that are locked. Although there will be licenses needed to see some texts there will still be some texts that are completely free to the public. Also another restriction that came with the confusing settlement that the public was going to have to deal with, was that they weren’t able to print out any text that was copyrighted without paying a fee first. Google offered to pay for that though. So overall Google just wanted to make texts available to the public to help learning but while doing that they created a, as the article stated, “monopoly.”

Another thing that was frequently mentioned in the article was the idea of the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment era. The enlightenment was “…faith in the power of knowledge, and the world of ideas in which it operated…” This meant pretty much that anyone who could read or write should have access to knowledge and and texts “with no police, no boundaries, and no inequalities other than those determined by talent.” The Enlightenment was just simply the cheerleader for knowledge. Google would be the Enlightenment of this generation. They are cheerleaders for getting texts out to the public and making knowledge available. Google is trying to bring the world together and help out by doing what they are doing and although they have been sewed they won’t let that stop them. They are fighting to make sure there aren’t charges put on printing or seeing texts so knowledge can truly be for ANYONE. Darton’s focus was to talk about how Google wants to get texts out to the public and this definitely is one of the ways he talked about it.

Intro And Chapter 1 of Rewritting

2 Oct

In the beginning of the chapter Harris talks about “three moves” that are needed in “coming to terms” with a text. In his words they are

“Define the project of the writer in your own terms”

“Note keywords or passages in the text”

“Asses the uses and limits of this approach”

When reading this chapter the understanding that I got from it was that “coming to terms”and “Defining the project of the writer in your own words”  meant to try and understand the point the author is making and really see it from their side. Also rap up all the main ideas that you want to talk about or summarize in your own words. Pretty much just be open minded like we talked about before. Try and include why and what the author was trying to say in their text. There was a quote in this section that mentioned this. “…to hazard a view about not only what someone has said but also what he was trying too accomplish by saying it.” (pg. 17 para.2)

The second move Harris mentioned was “Note keywords or passages in the text” and I felt like that it was saying exactly what the quote says, use quotes to not only show what another author said but to help make your opinion on the matter even more visible. Quote for your sake while keeping what the author said true. A quote that I found that sort of help me figure this out was on page 20 para.3 “Quote to illustrate your view of the text, to single out terms or passages that strike you in some way as interesting, troubling, ambiguous, or suggestive” This was what really stood out and helped me to understand what this move really meant.

The third and last move was “Assessing Uses and Limits” This move was explaining that using extremes such as good and evil, pro and con, or guilty or innocent should be used less because if these extremes are used they are most likely seen on TV. To make your writing seem more intelligent Harris suggests that we use “positive opposing terms” “…with words and values that don’t contradict each other yet still exist in some real and ongoing tension” (pg 25 para.2) What he means by that use terms that do not automatically go against each other but are different. Like in the piece he mentioned earlier “Stories and theories” Harris uses this as an example of positive opposing terms because neither are negative or contradict one another but they still have their differences at some point.

“Coming to Terms” was all about learning to become a more intellectual writer and using another authors writing to help you. It teaches all about how to summarize another author and how to pick the proper terms so when summarizing or even explaning a quote you do it the correct way.

Scan this Book Response

23 Sep

When reading this one thing tat stood out to me in the first half was Kelly’s concept of the “Digital Library” I never thought to think of the resources that we have today in this way. I just simply use them.

 “But because of digital technology, you’ll be able to reach inside it from almost any device that sports a screen.”

This quote to me said it all. In the times we are in today, as long as you have access to any type of technology with a screen you will have access to anything and everything that a library could ever offer. It is interesting to me to hear his side of things about this topic. For me when I was reading in the beginning it sort of felt like Kelly was against this new “digitized library” but as we read in They Say I Say. You are a better writer when the reader can see no side. In this example Kelly also talks about the numbers of the original music, movies, photos, ect, that have been scanned and turned digital by us people. Now this reading raised a few questions for me. Is this a bad thing that we are doing this to our history? Or will this help later generations have better access to our history. That’s just something I was thinking when reading this.


“Search opens up creations” I loved this quote because it finally really shows his “side” that he has chosen for this. I showed before but to me this stands out. I agree search does change everything and it brings us to find things we would never even think to look up. When we go to libraries usually you know what you want, you get it and you leave. I personally don’t just browse until I find something interesting. But with search we are now free to find and explore without having to leave your chairs at home if we choose not to. This whole section talks about how now it is required to have a digital copy. “: Copyrights must be counterbalanced by copyduties” Kelly talks about how good it is for culture. So another question is is it really? And if it is, how do we get it to all the different cultures? Not everyone has the same resources as we do so how will they gain access to this new wonderful library that we now have?

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.


Chapter 1 Response

15 Sep

This chapter made a huge point and that is, if you are trying to argue something you have to first state the reason or purpose you are arguing. This chapter started with a story about a conference speaker who was speaking about a sociologist named Dr. X. He went on and on about the good that Dr. X did but never got to the point of why he was defending Dr. X so hard. He forgot to include in his speech the “They Say” as the chapter states. In an argument if you never state why you are arguing, such as someone disagreeing with you, or something that contradicts what you believe, there is no argument, its only one sided opinions that to the audience have no clear meaning or purpose. Another thing the chapter stated was not only do you have to state the “they say” in your piece, but if it is a rather long piece you have to make sure that you continue to remind your audience of the “they say.” It is easy to forget the point of an argument if you only mention the other side’s opinion once. Without this you will lose your audience as they continue to read or listen. 

Response for Intro

12 Sep

After reading this intro I finally came to the realization of what they are talking about. Using others opinions in your writing can make a paper go from boring and one sided to interesting and informational. When writing a piece that is “argumentative” it is essential to have not only your opinion but the opinion of another, even if that opinion goes against yours. An argument starts when one person has an opinion then someone else either questions, or agrees with that opinion. Without that second person there to either agree or question there is not substance to the argument. It isn’t an argument at all.  The point that they made about this in the intro really stuck out to me. I had never thought about writing essays or opinionated speeches in this way. The example they give about King’s letters put it all into context. Without him disagreeing with the opinion of his critics and the law he would have never had the momentum to even write these. As I said before even if the opinions of others are against yours they are useful catapults. As they said in the intro King used the opinions of his critics to not slander in his writing but to use their opinions and add on to them to later make his point even greater. Now THAT is a great writer.