This morning I attended a training on expository writing instruction where I got a free copy of the new edition of one of my favorite teaching books, They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. In essence the book preaches using templates (filling in the blanks) as a tool for teaching academic writing. Think “Mad Libs” for scholarly ideas. Teacher friends: the new edition supports templates for writing in the sciences and social sciences, too!
Below is a model from the book and in red type italics is my tongue-in-cheek variation. I’m quite proud of it. The instructor said it would make a great conference paper proposal for Comic-Con. 😉
Original model for an expository paper intro, with template language in bold: (See Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2010.):
The term “vegetarian” tends to be synonymous with “tree-hugger” in many people’s minds. They see vegetarianism as a cult that brainwashes its followers into eliminating an essential part of their daily diets for an abstract goal of “animal welfare.” However, few vegetarians choose their lifestyle just to follow the crows. On the contrary, many of these supposedly brainwashed people are actually independent thinkers, concerned citizens, and compassionate human beings. For the truth is that there are many very good reasons for giving up meat. Perhaps the best reasons are to improve the environment, to encourage humane treatment of livestock, or to enhance one’s own health, In this essay, then, closely examining a vegetarian diet as compared to a meat-eater’s diet will show that vegetarianism is clearly the better option for sustaining the Earth and all its inhabitants.
My intro for a “paper” on geekiness with my words in italics:
The term “geek” tends to be synonymous with “antisocial nerd” in many people’s minds. They see geekiness as a condition of being unhealthily obsessed with an obscure interest, such as the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who. However, few geeks behave unhealthily or dangerously. On the contrary, many of these supposedly antisocial or unintelligent people are actually independent thinkers, successful businesspeople, fascinating communicators, and creative spirits who socialize at a high level of intellectual inquiry with others who share their mostly harmless interests. For the truth is that there are many very good reasons for indulging in geekiness. Perhaps the best reasons are to socialize with like-minded fans online and at conferences, to think critically and creatively about alternative storylines via fan fiction, or to reflect upon and practice the values that the scifi world promotes. In this essay, then, closely examining a geek’s commitment to Doctor Who as compared to a regular viewer’s passive consumption of mainstream TV content will show that geekiness is clearly the better option for promoting communication, critical thinking, and creativity in our society.