Follow the “They say, I say” approach. Here is a title of the short story, read it and write an argumentative essay: Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” Follow the They Say, I Say approach instead. Assignment Purpose The purpose of this assignment is to develop your reading, thinking, and writing skills through the use of analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and argumentation. In this essay, you will: Analyze the text of the story and the interpretation of other writers. Synthesize the interpretation of others (they say) and your own interpretation (I say) through comparison. Evaluate the arguments of others and, depending on your approach, aspects of the story itself. Formulate your own argument in response to your sources. Organizing Your Paper Part One. Begin with an introduction to the story title, writer, and genre. If you want to include any background information on the writer or writing of the story, you can include it here, but be brief. This information can be combined with a very short summary of the story. Part Two. In the next section of your paper describe and explain at least one other interpretation of the story. Go into detail about what “they say.” (You may either analyze and evaluate the other view or views here—or wait until you give your own claim about the story.”) Part Three. In this “I Say” part of the paper, present your own interpretation of the story. Compare your point of view on the story to views espoused by previous critics. Use the templates or language of argument to be clear to your own reading about how each position relates to the others. In stating your thesis, use language that explicitly signals your thesis to your reader. Examples: “My own view of the story is”… or…”From my perspective, the story’s meaning is….” Part Four. Defend your interpretation from a possible (or actual) naysayer. A “naysayer” is anyone who might object to, or have difficulty accepting or understanding your view. He or she is a skeptic. The naysayer can be gentle or aggressive; you get to decide how you want to present the naysayer’s view. The naysayer can object to any aspect of your argument, the claim, an assumption your argument rests on, your reasons, or evidence. A crucial point is not to end this section on the naysayer’s position. You must “answer” the naysayer’s objections. A good strategy is often to accept part of the naysayer’s argument, but reject another part: “Although I grant X’s concern that I may have________________, I still maintain that___________________.” Part Five. There is so much flexibility here, that rather than giving you a formula for this final part of the paper, I will bullet some possible approaches to ending the paper: Use almost any interesting strategy to end your paper—except don’t say, “As I have shown in this paper….” Form and Style Follow MLA style. Include an interesting title. Use the first person when you are distinguishing what you contend from what others say, but don’t overuse “I”. Write in Formal Register English spiced with the sound of your own voice. (For more information on this, see the chapter titled “Ain’t So, Is Not” in They Say, I Say.) Suggestions Use questions as the basis of your analysis of the story. Tie every part of your paper back into your thesis. Avoid long passages of plot summary; use references to the story to support your ideas. Plot, character and point of view are possible areas to consider in your interpretation.

Follow the “They say, I say” approach. Here is a title of the short story, read it and write an argumentative essay: Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”


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