Entering the Conversation – 2

In this activity you are going to use what you learned reading “The Art of Summarizing” and “The Art of Quoting” to engage your classmates in written conversation about “The Limits of Friendship.” You’ll post your replies here, but keep reading.

Your responses to classmates’ posts should start by summarizing their overall view and then narrow down to to some specific point they make. Remember, as Graff and Birkenstein told us, good summaries “play the believing game” by fairly and accurately representing the views of other writers (31). They also have “a focus or spin that allows the summary to fit with your own agenda” (34). When summarizing and quoting, be sure to choose effective signal verbs from pp. 40-41 or 39-40 (depending on which edition you have) to introduce your summary.

As you narrow into your classmates’ more specific point, choose relevant quotes from their posts and frame them to set up your consideration of what they say and your response. They Say/I Say addresses quote framing on or around pp. 45-50 depending on which edition you have. As you work to confirm, complicate, or challenge some of your classmates’ ideas, use some of the pivotal words in this list at the beginnings of your sentences to connect your points to theirs.


  1. Respond to at least two different classmates’ posts.
  2. Use the fundamental They Say/I Say structure in your paragraph
  3. Use specific templates drawn from “The Art of Summarizing” and “The Art of Quoting” to frame your quotations
  4. Use pivotal words