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Rossman- Researched Argument Final Draft-1

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									Kelli Rossman                                                                                       Comment [M. Lane1]: SIGNED: M. Lane –
                                                                                                    6.3.10

AP English Language and Composition

Mr. Lane

5.11.2010

Independent Reading

                                      Researched Argument                                           Comment [M. Lane2]: This is the title of your
                                                                                                    book, not the title of your paper.

SECTION I: INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT

       Conversations are a part of our daily lives. People have captivating conversations with

friends, family, and coworkers throughout the day; small talk is made with strangers. Many

times, individuals find themselves in a place where they interpret a message differently than the

other person intended during a conversation. Could these mixed messages be due to gender

differences? Deborah Tannen specifically describes the variation in conversational styles

between men and women. In her book, You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in                     Comment [M. Lane3]: Name it.


Conversation, she goes on to describe report talk and rapport talk, which are common types of       Comment [M. Lane4]: 5.3 – see differences in
                                                                                                    punctuation with which/that

speaking that occur between genders. Men strive for a superior status to others to uphold a more

powerful position in communication. Women, on the other hand, tend to maintain equality and

like to have close relationships with other people while in conversation. Tannen argues that the

way people speak as women and men is implanted on us from an early age and can be considered

cross-cultural communication. Is it logical to say that all people are raised with the same

conversational styles? All people are unique and have their own distinctive speaking styles,

which are not mentioned in Tannen’s book. The diverse communication styles of men and

women contribute to the asymmetries that occur in conversations day after day in our lives.

SECTION II: THE AUTHOR’S BACKGROUND
                                                                                         Rossman 2


       A professor at Georgetown University, Deborah Tannen teaches linguistics and is the

author of several books that describe the affects of language on relationships (georgetown.edu).

Tannen’s experience teaching at a university contributes to her credibility. It is quite obvious in   Comment [M. Lane5]: 12.1
                                                                                                      Comment [M. Lane6]: 16.1 – very wordy
her book that she had performed a great amount of research prior to writing to make her

argument legit. Her credibility shows through at the beginning of her book and also through her       Comment [M. Lane7]: write out


many achievements.

       Deborah Tannen describes why she wrote You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men

in Conversation at the preface of the book. Tannen describes how she received feedback from

her previous book, That’s Not What I Meant, because readers wanted to hear more about gender

and conversational styles. The responses she received sparked some curiosity for her to look

further into this topic. Because of her many accomplishments, Deborah Tannen has been

featured as a guest on several television shows. She has also written in several major newspapers

and magazines about her works, such as Newsweek, Time, and USA Today (georgetown.edu).                Comment [M. Lane8]: 6.3


The position that Tannen upholds at Georgetown University and her many accomplishments                Comment [M. Lane9]: 16.1


emphasizes the dedication she has to further explore the nature of conversations, and this

contributes to make her a reliable source for knowledge about this topic.

SECTION III: THE BOOK’S ARGUMENT

       Deborah Tannen argues that boys and girls grow up speaking different languages and

continue to do so as adults. She alludes to the argument that “talk between women and men is

cross-cultural communication”as early as the preface of the book (18). What exactly is this cross-    Comment [M. Lane10]: 15.2


cultural communication? Mulvaney defines intercultural communication as “a message producer

being a member of one culture and a message receiver being a member of another culture.” This         Comment [M. Lane11]: 13.1


is very logical because men and women have different demands while growing and developing.
                                                                                         Rossman 3


Cross-cultural communication also sets some of the standards of how men and women speak in

conversation with other people. Gamarekian mentions how some criticism has come from the

book from people who believe that gender differences “could justify unequal treatment and

opportunity for women” in our society. There are several explanations for the differences in          Comment [M. Lane13]: 13.1?


conversational styles of the genders.

       In general, women and men view the world from different perspectives. Mulvaney

explains that “women see talk as the essence of a relationship while men use talk to exert control,

preserve independence, and enhance status” with others. In her book, Tannen describes the             Comment [M. Lane14]: 13.1?


different stereotypes that characterize men and women. In our society, men tend to dominate to

maintain a one-up position on the person they are communicating with. Women, unlike men, like         Comment [M. Lane15]: These are some broad,
                                                                                                      sweeping stereotypes. Are you making these
                                                                                                      statements, or are they what is in the text? Clarify.
to keep a close bond with the other person and like to maintain the same status in the

conversation. Tannen describes the differences of rapport-talk and report-talk in conversations in

chapter three of You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. These

conversation styles can be classified as private and public speaking, respectively. Women

primarily use rapport talk when speaking to establish connections, while men use report talk to

maintain status and to preserve independence (77). The different conversational styles of men

and women can be distinguished while speaking with people of the opposite gender. However,

these ways of speaking are established in the early years of a person’s life while growing and

developing. According to Tannen, it is very hard to change a person’s way of speaking, but it is

possible.

       Throughout the book, Tannen uses exemplification to make her argument more clear to

the reader. She pulls many excerpts from books written by different authors to provide examples

that the reader can relate with to make her point more persuasive. Concrete facts from different
                                                                                          Rossman 4


studies performed are also incorporated into the book. A series of seventy studies were

performed and analyzed recently, which killed the stereotype that women talk more than men              Comment [M. Lane16]: 5.3


(washingtonpost.com). Tannen emphasized in You Just Don’t Understand the fact that women

and men talk equally, though it may not seem that way. Women are prone to talking privately,            Comment [M. Lane17]: 5.3


which could cause others to believe that they are more talkative. Men tend to talk more

publically, which causes them to appear less talkative at home around the family. Throughout her

book, Tannen uses several patterns of development to construct her argument.

       In the chapter titled, Who’s Interrupting?, Tannen uses narration to describe her analysis

of a dinner conversation among six friends. She listened to the tape for specific points where one

friend unintentionally was dominant over the others (196-197). This story helps to support

Tannen’s argument that our conversational styles are firmly established and difficult to change,

but it also shows that not all people of the same gender speak the same way. Definition explains        Comment [M. Lane18]: 9.3


style differences, rapport talk, and report talk in the book. These definitions benefit the reader to

get a better understanding of the argument. Overall, the argument is well developed with a

concrete claim that Tannen builds off of throughout the book.

       The ultimate argument is that cross-cultural communication between the genders is

established at the household. Tannen exemplifies her points by using many examples and facts to

back up her point of view. She also appeals to pathos in several areas in the book, such as when

she speaks of her great aunt that was loved by a man unconditionally (113). This example was

specifically touching because her aunt actually cried when her lover asked what she wore when

she had dinner out with her friends. The traits that people display in conversation are similar for

many people of the same gender.

SECTION IV: OPPOSING POINTS OF VIEW
                                                                                           Rossman 5


       Jan Peregrine disagrees with Tannen’s argument to say that many people are not

influenced by the same conversational style as others of their sex. Tannen does not take this into

consideration in her book, which makes it more difficult to put a specific label on the ways that

women and men communicate with other people. Peregrine agrees that some of “these beliefs

were formed in our childhood when girls formed a few close friends to gab and the boys formed

teams to play competitive sports” to develop socially. However, not all people are influenced by        Comment [M. Lane19]: 13.1


these expectations formed at childhood because people are raised differently. The way people

think and act are shaped by society, family, and the environment. Tannen correlates the

similarities between actions of young children with adults at the age of twenty five. These

instances are described in the chapter, Look at Me When I’m Talking to You!. The body language

and conversations brought up by the second graders and the adults were shockingly similar, to

persuade the readers to take Tannen’s point of view. However, not all people respond like those

in this research project. In reality, there are many people that are not affected the same way as

others of the same gender, as is the case with Jan Peregrine.

       Peregrine’s point of view does conflict with the argument that Tannen creates. Tannen’s

argument makes it seem like all people are raised to speak the same way, when that is not the

case. All people are unique with their own speaking styles to fit their own personality.

SECTION V: CONCLUSION

       Personally, I agree with Peregrine that not all people are brought up the same way.

Conversational styles can change throughout a person’s lifetime. I have heard many times that

people who are shy when they are younger grow up to be very outgoing adults. Of course, this is

not the case for all people. I’m sure that many people do grow up having similar conversational         Comment [M. Lane20]: Good job qualifying
                                                                                                        these statements.

styles as others of the same gender, but there will always be other people that do not fall into this
                                                                                       Rossman 6


category. For example, my best friend is very outgoing and therefore speaks using both report

talk and rapport talk quite frequently. Would she be an exception to the standards of cross-

cultural communication? There are many other people that do not use the conversational styles

that Tannen describes in her book for each gender. People are raised differently and all have

distinctive ways of speaking that can change as a person develops throughout life.
                                                                                 Rossman 7


                                        Works Cited


Gamarekian, Barbara. "Men. Women. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Hear? No.(Living Desk)."

       New York Times 19 June 1991. Student Resource Center - Bronze. Web. 5 May 2010.


Mulvaney, Becky M. “Gender differences in Communication: An Intercultural Experience.”

       Feminism and Women's Studies. N.p., 1994. Web. 5 May 2010.


Peregrine, Jan. eopinions.com. N.p., 27 Aug. 2001. Web. 5 May 2010.


Tannen, Deborah. georgetown.edu. N.p., 2009. Web. 5 May 2010.


Tannen, Deborah. "Who does the talking here?." washingtonpost.com. The Washington Post

       Company, 15 July 2007. Web. 5 May 2010.


Tannen, Deborah. You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. New York:

       Ballentine Books, 1990. Print.
                                                                                Rossman 8


             Name                                                       Date
           Topic/Title

Area                            Score      Comments
Ideas and Content                        9
Organization                            10
Word Choice                              9
Sentence Fluency                         8
Voice                                    8
Lower Order Concerns                     8
Presentation (Research Guide)            9
Insight                                  9
Support                                  8
Introduction and Conclusion             10
TOTAL                                   88
GRADE out of 50                         44 Revisit citation rules/formatting…you drift in and out of properly
                                           referencing your sources; good job in most of analysis; see
                                           comments and LOCs for revisions

								
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