Summary of Opposing Views and Rebuttal Essay

 

Conditions For Rebuttal--Testing Your Proposal Argument: Consider the following questions to anticipate vulnerabilities in your argument.

 

A. Will My Audience Deny That My Problem Is Really a Problem?

B. Will My Audience Doubt the Effectiveness of My Solution?

C. Will My Audience Think My Proposal Costs Too Much?

D. Will My Audience Suggest Counterproposals?

 

The purpose of this paper is to identify and respond to opposing views of your argumentóthe problem/solution as well as the justification.

 

Begin with a fair summary of an opposing view. (Briefly state its main claim and supporting reasons.)

 

When you summarize opposing views, your own credibility will be enhanced if you follow the "principle of charity." This principle obliges you (a) to make your opponents' best case, (b) to avoid loaded or biased summaries, and (c) to avoid "strawmen" summaries which oversimplify opposing arguments making them easy to knock over

 

Once you have summarized an opposing view, then respond to it.

 

RESPONSE STRATEGY 1: REBUTTING OPPOSING VIEWS

 

When rebutting or refuting an argument, you attempt to convince readers that the opponent's view is (1) logically flawed, (2) erroneously supported, (3) based on questionable values, beliefs, or principles (warrant), or (4) in some other way much weaker than what the opponent claims. Point out any weaknesses in the writer's stated reason and grounds, or the writer's warrant and backing, or both.

           

Ways to Refute Evidence

1. DENY THE FACTICITY OF THE DATA

2. CITE COUNTEREXAMPLES OR COUNTERTESTIMONY

3. CAST DOUBT ON THE REPRESENTATIVENESS OR SUFFICIENCY OF EXAMPLES

4. CAST DOUBT ON THE RELEVANCE OR RECENCY OF THE EXAMPLES, STATISTICS OR TESTIMONY

5. CALL INTO QUESTION THE CREDIBILITY OF AN AUTHORITY

6. QUESTION THE ACCURACY OR CONTEXT OF QUOTATIONS

7. QUESTION THE WAY STATISTICAL DATA WERE PRODUCED OR INTERPRETED

 

 

 

 

RESPONSE STRATEGY II: CONCESSION TO OPPOSING VIEWS

 

Sometimes you will encounter portions of an argument that you simply cannot refute. Your strategy in this case is not to refute the opponent's argumentónot the opponent's stated reason and grounds nor the opponent's warrant, but to concede to it. Having made that concession, your task is then to shift the argument to a new field of values by introducing a new warrant that you and your audience can share

 

Although it may seem that you weaken your own position by conceding to your opponent's argument, you may actually strengthen it by increasing your credibility and gaining your audience's goodwill. Moreover, conceding to one part of an opponent's argument doesn't mean that you won't refute other parts of that argument.

 

 

 

Basic Criteria

 

Minimum length is 1000 words

Identify at least two opposing positions to your argument--your solution and/or your reasons for taking action (justification).

Summarize the opposing position briefly and then provide your response in rebuttal: convince readers that the opponent's view is

(1) logically flawed,

(2) erroneously supported,

(3) based on questionable values, beliefs, or principles (warrant), or

(4) in some other way much weaker than what the opponent claims.

Cite at least three sources different from the ones you used in the two earlier papers (you may use as many additional sources as you wish, including those from the other papers)

Use parenthetical references (and attributive tags) within the text of the essay

Attach a works cited page

Incorporate summary, paraphrase, and direct quotation

           

Critiquing Opposing Arguments

 

I. Introduction: Introduce the title of the passage and the author; state the author's main argument and

II. Summary. Summarize the author's thesis and main points (claim and stated reasons), making sure to state the author's purpose for writing.

III. Analysis of the presentation--Evaluate the validity of the author's presentation, as distinct from your points of agreement or disagreement.

      A. How effective is the writer at creating logical appeals? What are the ground and warrants for each of the reasons? How effective is the argument, particularly its use of evidence (grounds) and its support of its basic assumptions (warrants)? Does the argument exhibit any of the logos fallacies?

      B. How effective is the writer at creating ethical appeals? What ethos does the writer project? What is the writer's stance toward the audience? Is the writer's ethos effective? Does the writer commit any of the ethos fallacies?

      C. How effective is the writer at creating pathetic appeals? How effective is the writer at using audience‑based reasons? How effective is the writer's use of concrete language, word choice, powerful examples, and analogies for enhancing the pathetic appeal of the argument? Does the writer commit any of the pathos fallacies?

      D. How could the writer's argument be refuted?

            1. Can the writer's grounds be called into question? Is the data factual? Can you find counter-examples or counter-testimony? Are the examples/statistics/testimony  representative, sufficient, relevant, recent ? Is an authority credible? Are the quotations accurate and true to their original context? Are the methods of deriving the statistical data valid and are they fairly interpreted?

            2. Can the writer's warrants be called into question?

IV. Your response to the presentation.

      A. Identify the author's views with which you agree

      B. Identify the author's views with which you disagree

      C. Discuss your reasons for each point (when possible tie these reasons to assumptions, both the author's and your own).

V. Conclusion--your final judgment.

      A. State your assessment of the author's success at achieving  his aims

      B. State your reactions to the author's views.

      C. Remind the reader of the weaknesses and strengths of the passage.

      D. State your conclusions about the overall validity of the piece.

            1. Very effective, total agreement

            2. Well done, but some reservations about certain points

            3. Some good points, but not convincing  overall

            4. Weak argument, totally disagree