Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How Can We Improve our Writing Skills?

In chapter 4 “They Say I Say” by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, the discussion begins of how we can learn to determine who is saying what, and how to state your own point of view, while the reader is trying to determine whether you are agreeing or disagreeing or doing both. The author raised the question: how to not confuse the reader of your points and the author’s, and how to use proper fraises. While stating your point you don’t have to complex your work and make the reader go back to the text, everything should be simple and clear. While explaining certain point, the conection should be drawn between the text and your point, and when disagreeing certain evidence and research should be included to prove the point, suggests the author. However, sometimes it is easier to agree of what the author said, and it makes the “disagree” point go down. According to the author who says that while we make our points and agree with the author, we should also include a different point of view of outside source, or bring some new idea to support our theme. But sometimes, we tend to make two arguments while agreeing and disagreeing at the same time with the author, and then the reader comes into the confusion of which point you took. And to ilimate that we should give a straightforward sentence at which point we agree and disagree, with the steps that the author is providing us, it makes the work seem explanatory and simple.

In Exercise #1, Jean Anyon , “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” in this article the author states both of her points by bringing the proper resources of the experts, in the beginning of the paragraph she agrees that different types of education should be introduced in school, and on the other had when she brings the evidence of  Basil Bernstein, Pierre Bourdieu, and Michael W. Apple whom she found disagreeing at this point, and she brings the other issues that lead to the future. The work “but” made the whole turn in this essay; she gives the reader the simple and straightforward answer of her opinion.

While reading the article “Hidden Intellectualism” by Gerald Graff that gives us a further analysis of exercises #1.

_“Real intellectuals turn any subject, however lightweight it may seem, into grist for their mill through the thoughtful questions they bring to it, whereas a dullard will find a way to drain the interest out of the richest subject” agrees with George Orwell

-“On the one hand, it was necessary to maintain the boundary between “clean-cut” boys like me and working-class “hoods,” as we called them, which meant that it was good to be openly smart in a bookish sort of way. On the other hand, I was desperate for the approval of the hoods, whom I encountered daily on the playing field and in the neighborhood, and for this purpose it was not at all good to be book-smart”
Agrees and Disagrees.

-“Consequently, I failed to see the parallels between the sports and academic worlds that could have helped me cross more readily from one argument culture to the other.”

-“But again, writing an acute analysis of Source means translating one’s nonacademic interests into academic terms, turning street smarts into book smarts and recognizing that the two can coexist after all.” Agrees.
I still haven’t decided which article I will use for my essay, but the main idea will include in it, an influence on people from others, and how it makes the characters of particular story to become hero, and use the knowledge of life of another person. The article that I’ve read is "Expanding your influence." Training & Development  by Dreyer Jennifer. In her article she provides a history background that people from very begging tried to influence one another in a positive way. Which worked, and in her work she provides us with several steps of how to influence person in a positive way, and he/she will learn the lesson and benefit himself. However, after helping one another it instills strength in us that we are the ones who influence the particular person, and with our help that person’s life is changing. In the begging of article the author states: Following are seven strategies that have proven to be successful. There is no one strategy that works best. Influencing others is a complex process of discovering what works for the particular person or persons you are attempting to influence” at this point I agree and disagree with the author because, it is not always possible to influence the person in the say we want it to, but we are here to encourage them and open their eyes to see things from another angle which at them end might lead to the beneficial influence. Also, it depends on the situation, which might lead to the negative influence. But we are here to provide people with only positive influence that will help them success in their life, the author explains in her article. Another statement she makes is: “Practice the "foot-in-the-door" technique. This is a classic sales technique based on the idea of starting small. By obtaining a small commitment up-front from someone, you increase your chances of gaining a larger commitment in the future” with the help of these simple rules, it is easier to encourage someone to change, and my making small contributions the other person won’t notice his change and the influence of other person, until some of the extraordinary moment will come into their life which will collapse everything and then they will apply all the strategies.


  1. I like the way you identified the aricle as weather which part is the agree/disagree/both. Very clear.

  2. Agreed! Good stuff! These are good notes for your essay :-)