2. In the Introduction to They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein provide templates designed to act as a guide to student, scholarly, and academic writing. Specifically, Graff and Birkenstein argue that the types of writing templates they offer produce strong papers. As the authors themselves put it, Academic writing is the challenging ability to incorporate anothers ideas in balance with your ideas and make the transition seamless, while also writing effectively and meaningfully.
Therefore when it comes to constructing and argument¦remember that you are entering a conversation and therefore need to start with what others are saying¦(18). Although some people believe academic writing can be a lethal combination of confusing words and complicated sentences (115), Graff and Birkenstein insist that academic writing can and in our world should be relaxed, easy to follow, and even a little bit fun (115). In sum, then, their view is that in order to be effective, academic writings format is just as if not more important than content or complicated language and structure.
I have mixed feelings. In my view, the types of templates that the authors recommend are useful for most situations, but there are some instances when personal style counts. For instance, personal memos or letters need to have some character to them. In addition, some might object, of course, on the grounds that organization is the key factor in academic writing. Yet I would argue that while organization helps, it can overshadow the art of writing. Overall, then, I believe that templates can be useful, but should be yielding to some change and personal style an important point to make given I am using one right now!
I am moderately confident in my ability to avoid plagiarism. By moderately, I mean that about seventy five to eighty percent of the time, I will be able avoid plagiarism very easily. I understand that when I am supplying my reader with information from someone else that I need to put it in quotation marks if it is a direct quote and that I need to note where that source came from. I also understand paraphrasing and when I need to actually put quotes around pieces of information that Im using and when I can summarize others. I know that this too must be cited correctly at the end of the information given and in a reference page, bibliography, or works cited page.
I do slightly fear the grey area of the issue of plagiarism, however. Sometimes it is questionable as to what information is common knowledge is and what is not common knowledge. In these instances, I will ask my instructors opinion, and cite whenever I question. It is better to provide a source than to unintentionally plagiarize.