Graff: An Argument Worth HavingPosted: September 8, 2009
Professor Gerald Graff (one of the authors of They Say/I Say whom you met Friday along with his wife Cathy) followed up his visit to Washington College with an Op-Ed in the New York Times on Sunday. It summarizes some key points of the perspective that is in the book, as well as in the essay “Hidden Intellectualism.” I wonder what your experience has been with argument. He suggests that students get to college already expert in making arguments–except not academic arguments. And that, unfortunately, the academic arguments you have been taught to make are empty, not worth having: because they don’t engage with what another has argued or said.In effect, the argument and writing are flat, because they exist in a vacuum. Do you have examples of one or the other?