Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Three Ways to Respond
     This is the “I say” stage which is quite scary. The chapter reminds us that good arguments are not based on knowledge that belong to a special class of experts but on everyday habits of the mind that can be isolated, identified and used by anyone.  Moreover, it encourages expertise and knowing as much as possible about a topic at any given time.
     The way to respond to others is either by agreeing, disagreeing or doing both. However, these ways ignore interpretive and analytical responses which incorporate explaining the understanding of the meaning, style or structure. Literature and art take these forms.
Seems to be the simpler move. Saying no or not is a contradiction to the view but one has to offer persuasive reasons for disagreeing. To disagree one needs to point out the faulty or incomplete evidence; questionable assumptions and the flawed logic.
Agree with a difference
Agreeing is more than just echoing the view but one has to bring in something new and fresh. This can be by pointing out more evidence and elaborating by citing personal experience for better understanding. Agreeing adds credibility but one should avoid being a copycat or disagreeing without reason hence being a lone ranger.
Agree and Disagree
Acknowledging that clear-cut resolution of an issue is not always possible demonstrates sophistication of a writer. One has to know the audience well and have good knowledge of the issue to weigh the pros and cons.
     In the essay, Hidden Intellectualism, Gerald Graff writes about the “street smart” and “book smart.” Graff is a professor of English and education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In a nutshell, he says that being street smart is in no way being less intellectual than a book smart.
He disagrees by accusing schools and colleges for missing to tap into street smarts and channel them into good academic work.
At large, street smart are associated with anti-intellectual concerns.
His preference for sports over school work was not anti-intellectualism so much as intellect by other means.
Sports world was more compelling than school because it was more intellectual than school not less.
He believes street smarts beat out book smarts in our culture.
He agrees that real intellectuals can turn any subject into grist for their mill.
He also says that students need to read models of intellectually challenging writing.
Students need to see interests through “academic eyes” and this is to say street smarts are not enough.
Agreeing and Disagreeing
The place where he is undecided is when he says it was necessary to maintain boundary between clean cut boys like him and working class hoods.
He was careful not to jeopardize his respectable future and his need to impress the hood.
Being less than a negligible fighter, he had to settle for the next best thing which was to be inarticulate, carefully hiding telltale marks of literacy.
He admits he was already betraying being an intellectual before he knew that was what he wanted to be.  
Had he seen the parallelism between sports and academics, it would have been helpful to cross over more readily because the intellectual world is organized much like team sports.
Works Cited
Graff, Gerald. “Hidden Intellectualism.” They Say, I Say. The Moves That Matter in Academic
Writing. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein. 2nd ed. W. W. Norton & Company. New York.
2010. 198-205. Print.


  1. We have to do citations for blogs?

  2. No, unless the Prof tells us to do so

  3. Great post, Hellen!

    And Shirel's right. Citations are only necessary when I ask for them, but if you wanna practice them, I can give you feedback! For instance, the city of publication comes BEFORE the publisher ;-)