Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hello Ackerman, writing for the conversation.

Chapter fourteen of They Say/I Say explains that when writing for the social sciences “it is the subject of constant conversation and argument” because results of proceedings are not always ultimate. The writer, Erin Ackerman, a political science professor at John Jay College, acknowledges that there are always different ways to view what people do. Since most of the general disputes in the social sciences have been held for a long time, it is imperative that the critic is well educated on past findings and can accept that others may not choose to agree with their view. They must first provide the reader with background information, the conversation prior to entering it, and then formulate their response. Ackerman states “writing in the social sciences generally includes several core components: a strong introduction and a thesis, a literature review, and the writer’s own analysis, including presentation of data and consideration of implications.” (177) She provides different ways of presenting the “they say” and of how authors present their “I say”. One way of responding is by acknowledging what holds true and explaining why some things are questionable. In the literature review section of the piece the writer must reiterate important points from other sources that connect well with their own assertions. You must answer all questions and exhibit a deep familiarity with the text. Identify the argument and add details to further magnify the issue. Then in the analysis you expand on your opinion on the topic and explain why others should care, using data to support your assertions. Address the possibility of objections and contend a framework on how someone may want to further explore this issue.

         Writing for the social science does not seem different than the writing I have done on pop culture for this English 24 class. An important topic stressed this semester is learning to read and write for the conversation. Taking the data and information and putting it into perspective against other facts in order for one to come up with their own conclusion on the argument. Through the analysis we are looking to value an idea, creation, or opinion in the context presented by a critic. Writing for this class and writing for the social sciences use the same several components noted by Ackerman to prove an assertion. I responded to a disagreeing text by Myra Francis Taylor in my draft of “Through Haring’s Looking Glass” (tentative title.) using the same example she provides, to make well established connections between my primary source and naysayer. I decided to include one of Erin Ackerman’s templates at the end of my introduction in order to expand further on So What/Who Cares, which is a phrase mentioned constantly by both my professor and Ackerman. (the template was: Ultimately what is at stake here is ___.) I have a framework from my conclusion based upon the idea of further exploring the issue, another idea I got from reading Chapter fourteen. Writing in the field of the social sciences is imminently reflective of the writing we have done as a whole this semester. 


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  2. I agree that the structure for writing in the social sciences includes some level of using data to support claims, however as you mentioned "there are always different ways to view what people do." Trying to distinguish between what is opinion and what is fact is not always easy in the social sciences. It is a discipline based on interpreting human behavior and there can never be one opinion that is more factual and correct than the next.

    1. Dawn, you just summed up the problem faced by social scientists, today. Well done :-)

      And great post, Annmarie! Your summary's dead-on!