Rebuttals - Tamara Lynde's English Page

Rebuttals - Tamara Lynde's English Page

Rebuttals The Hostile Audience and Addressing Opposition One of the most effective ways of persuading hostile readers is through addressing viewpoints that oppose your position. This doesnt mean that you should contradict yourself. It does mean that by doing this, you can show how opposing ideas, even though they may be valid, arent as convincing as your own. Doing

this is called rebutting your opponents arguments and if handled correctly, it can greatly improve your writing. How are Rebuttals Written? A rebuttal paragraph in an essay basically has two parts. The first part simply describes your opponents position or objection accurately. The

second part then explains why this idea isnt as good as your idea. Consider the following rebuttal paragraph from an essay on organic food. Example: Part 1 of the paragraph Some critics point out that organic products arent more nutritious than regular ones. Physician Sanjay Gupta, for example, finds the medical evidence for nutritional examples thin (60). The Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter also reports that

the research on nutritional benefits is mixed, with one important study showing no overall differences (Is Organic 8). Example: Part 2 of the paragraph Nutritional value, which includes qualities such as vitamins and other beneficial substances, is a different measure than food safety. At this point, it seems that nutrition alone is not a sufficient reason to buy organic foods. Perhaps future research will prove otherwise; a 2007 study, for example, showed that organically raised tomatoes have higher levels of flavonoids, nutrients that have many health benefits (Mitchell). In the meantime, however, environmental quality and, most importantly,

avoiding chemicals remain convincing reasons to purchase organic food, even if the same cannot yet be claimed for nutrition. Rebuttals: Notice how the example described the opponents argument and even though it was valid, still showed that the writers idea of buying organic food was better. An Exercise: Create an outline for the thesis, reasons, and evidence for Essay 3.

Pair up with a partner. Read your outline to your partner. Dont stop until you have read the whole thing. Your partner should not interrupt you. As you are reading your argument, your partner should be imagining what someone who disagrees with your thesis might say and what arguments against your thesis he or she might offer.

Your partner should, after you are finished, State the objections to your argument that he or she has thought up. Respond to each of these objections. When finished, switch roles.

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