They Say, I Say Writing Templates

SOURCE: They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, 4th edition (affiliate link).

Disagreeing Without Being Disagreeable

  • While I understand the impulse to , my own view is .
  • While I agree with X that , I cannot accept her overall conclusion that .
  • While X argues , and I argue , in a way we’re both right.

The Template Of Templates

In recent discussions of , a controversial issue has been whether . On the one hand, some argue that . From this perspective, . On the other hand, however, others argue that . In the words of , one of this view’s main proponents, “ .” According to this view, . In sum, then, the issue is whether or .

My own view is that . Though I concede that , I still maintain that . For example, . Although some might object that , I would reply that . The issue is important because .

Introducing What “They Say”

  • A number of have recently suggested that .
  • It has become common today to dismiss .
  • In their recent work, Y and Z have offered harsh critiques of for .

Introducing “Standard Views”

  • Americans today tend to believe that .
  • Conventional wisdom has it that .
  • Common sense seems to dictate that .
  • The standard way of thinking about topic X has it that .
  • It is often said that .
  • My whole life I have heard it said that .
  • You would think that .
  • Many people assume that .

Making What “They Say” Something You Say

  • I’ve always believed that .
  • When I was a child, I used to think that .
  • Although I should know better by now, I cannot help thinking that .
  • At the same time that I believe , I also believe .

Introducing Something Implied Or Assumed

  • Although none of them have ever said so directly, my teachers have often given me the impression that .
  • One implication of X’s treatment of is that .
  • Although X does not say so directly, she apparently assumes that .
  • While they rarely admit as much, often take for granted that .

Introducing An Ongoing Debate

  • In discussions of X, one controversial issue has been . On the one hand, argues . On the other hand, contends . Others even maintain . My own view is .
  • When it comes to the topic of , most of us will readily agree that . Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of . Whereas some are convinced that , others maintain that .
  • In conclusion, then, as I suggested earlier, defenders of can’t have it both ways. Their assertion that is contradicted by their claim that .

Capturing Authorial Action

  • X acknowledges that .
  • X agrees that .
  • X argues that .
  • X believes that .
  • X celebrates the fact that .
  • X claims that .
  • X complains that .
  • X concedes that .
  • X demonstrates that .
  • X denies/does not deny that .
  • X deplores the tendency to .
  • X emphasizes that .
  • X insists that .
  • X observes that .
  • X questions whether .
  • X refutes the claim that .
  • X reminds us that .
  • X reports that .
  • X suggests that .
  • X urges us to .

Introducing Quotations

  • X states, “ .”
  • As the prominent philosopher X puts it, “ .”
  • According to X, “ .”
  • X himself writes, “ .”
  • In her book, , X maintains that “ ”
  • Writing in the journal , X complains that “ .”
  • In X’s view, “ .”
  • X agrees when she writes, “ .”
  • X disagrees when he writes, “ .”
  • X complicates matters further when he writes, “ .”

Explaining Quotations

  • Basically, X is saying .
  • In other words, X believes .
  • In making this comment, X urges us to .
  • X is corroborating the age-old adage that .
  • X’s point is that .
  • The essence of X’s argument is that .

Disagreeing, With Reasons

  • I think X is mistaken because she overlooks .
  • X’s claim that rests upon the questionable assumption that .
  • I disagree with X’s view that because, as recent research has shown, .
  • X contradicts herself / can’t have it both ways. On the one hand, she argues . On the other hand, she also says .
  • By focusing on , X overlooks the deeper problem of .

Agreeing—With A Difference

  • I agree that because my experience confirms it.
  • X surely is right about because, as she may not be aware, recent studies have shown that .
  • X’s theory of is extremely useful because it sheds insight on the difficult problem of .
  • Those unfamiliar with this school of thought may be interested to know that it basically boils down to .
  • I agree that , a point that needs emphasizing since so many people believe .
  • If group X is right that , as I think they are, then we need to reassess the popular assumption that .

Agreeing And Disagreeing Simultaneously

  • Although I agree with X up to a point, I cannot accept his overall conclusion that .
  • Although I disagree with much that X says, I fully endorse his final conclusion that .
  • Though I concede that , I still insist that .
  • Whereas X provides ample evidence that , Y and Z’s research on and convinces me that instead.
  • X is right that , but she seems on more dubious ground when she claims that .
  • While X is probably wrong when she claims that , she is right that .
  • I’m of two minds about X’s claim that . On the one hand, I agree that . On the other hand, I’m not sure if .
  • My feelings on the issue are mixed. I do support X’s position that , but I find Y’s argument about and Z’s research on to be equally persuasive.

Signaling Who Is Saying What

  • X argues .
  • According to both X and Y, .
  • Politicians , X argues, should .
  • Most athletes will tell you that .
  • My own view, however, is that .
  • I agree, as X may not realize, that .
  • But are real and, arguably, the most significant factor in .
  • But X is wrong that .
  • However, it is simply not true that .
  • Indeed, it is highly likely that .
  • X’s assertion that does not fit the facts.
  • X is right that .
  • X is wrong that .
  • X is both right and wrong that .
  • Yet a sober analysis of the matter reveals .
  • Nevertheless, new research shows .
  • Anyone familiar with should agree that .

Embedding Voice Markers

  • X overlooks what I consider an important point about .
  • My own view is that what X insists is a is in fact a .
  • I wholeheartedly endorse what X calls .
  • These conclusions, which X discusses in , add weight to the argument that .

Entertaining Objections

  • At this point I would like to raise some objections that have been inspired by the skeptic in me. She feels that I have been ignoring . “ ,” she says to me, “ .”
  • Yet some readers may challenge the view that .
  • Of course, many will probably disagree with this assertion that .

Naming Your Naysayers

  • Here many would probably object that .
  • But would certainly take issue with the argument that .
  • , of course, may want to question whether .
  • Nevertheless, both followers and critics of will probably argue that .
  • Although not all think alike, some of them will probably dispute my claim that .
  • are so diverse in their views that it’s hard to generalize about them, but some are likely to object on the grounds that .

Introducing Objections Informally

  • But is my proposal realistic? What are the chances of its actually being adopted?
  • Yet is it always true that ? Is it always the case, as I have been suggesting, that ?
  • However, does the evidence I’ve cited prove conclusively that ?
  • “Impossible,” some will say. “You must be reading the research selectively.”

Making Concessions While Still Standing Your Ground

  • Although I grant that , I still maintain that .
  • Proponents of X are right to argue that . But they exaggerate when they claim that .
  • While it is true that , it does not necessarily follow that .
  • On the one hand, I agree with X that . But on the other hand, I still insist that .

Indicating Who Cares

  • used to think . But recently [or within the past few decades] suggests that .
  • These findings challenge the work of earlier researchers, who tended to assume that .
  • Recent studies like these shed new light on , which previous studies had not addressed.
  • Researchers have long assumed that . For instance, one eminent scholar of cell biology, , assumed in , her seminal work on cell structures and functions, that fat cells . As herself put it, “ ” (2012). Another leading scientist, , argued that fat cells “ ” (2011). Ultimately, when it came to the nature of fat, the basic assumption was that .
  • But a new body of research shows that fat cells are far more complex and that .
  • If sports enthusiasts stopped to think about it, many of them might simply assume that the most successful athletes . However, new research shows .
  • These findings challenge neoliberals’ common assumptions that .
  • At first glance, teenagers appear to . But on closer inspection .

Establishing Why Your Claims Matter

  • X matters / is important because .
  • Although X may seem trivial, it is in fact crucial in terms of today’s concern over .
  • Ultimately, what is at stake here is .
  • These findings have important consequences for the broader domain of .
  • My discussion of X is in fact addressing the larger matter of .
  • These conclusions / This discovery will have significant applications in as well as in .
  • Although X may seem of concern to only a small group of , it should in fact concern anyone who cares about .

Commonly Used Transitions

Addition

  • also
  • and
  • besides
  • furthermore
  • in addition
  • in fact
  • indeed
  • moreover
  • so too

Elaboration

  • actually
  • by extension
  • in other words
  • in short
  • that is
  • to put it another way
  • to put it bluntly
  • to put it succinctly
  • ultimately

Example

  • after all
  • as an illustration
  • consider
  • for example
  • for instance
  • specifically
  • to take a case in point

Cause and Effect

  • accordingly
  • as a result
  • consequently
  • hence
  • it follows, then
  • since
  • so
  • then
  • therefore
  • thus

Comparison

  • along the same lines
  • in the same way
  • likewise
  • similarly

Contrast

  • although
  • but
  • by contrast
  • conversely
  • despite
  • even though
  • however
  • in contrast
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • on the contrary
  • on the other hand
  • regardless
  • whereas
  • while
  • yet

Concession

  • admittedly
  • although it is true that
  • granted
  • I concede that
  • naturally
  • of course
  • to be sure

Conclusion

  • as a result
  • consequently
  • hence
  • in conclusion, then
  • in short
  • in sum, then
  • it follows, then
  • so
  • the upshot of all this is that
  • therefore
  • thus
  • to sum up
  • to summarize

Translation Recipes

  • Scholar X argues, “ .” In other words, .
  • Essentially, X argues .
  • X’s point, succinctly put, is that .
  • Plainly put, .

Adding Metacommentary

  • In other words, .
  • What really means by this is .
  • Ultimately, my goal is to demonstrate that .
  • My point is not , but .
  • To put it another way, .
  • In sum, then, .
  • My conclusion, then, is that, .
  • In short, .
  • What is more important, .
  • Incidentally, .
  • By the way, .
  • Chapter 2 explores , while Chapter 3 examines .
  • Having just argued that , let us now turn our attention to .
  • Although some readers may object that , I would answer that .

Linking To What “They Say”

  • As X mentions in this article, “ .”
  • In making this comment, X warns that .
  • Economists often assume ; however, new research by X suggests .

Introducing Gaps In The Existing Research

  • Studies of X have indicated . It is not clear, however, that this conclusion applies to .
  • often take for granted that . Few have investigated this assumption, however.
  • X’s work tells us a great deal about . Can this work be generalized to ?
  • Our understanding of remains incomplete because previous work has not examined .

By Joshua Steele

Anglican Priest, Managing Editor of Anglican Compass, Ph.D. Candidate in Theology at Wheaton College Graduate School.

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