Essay 2

Please select one from "88 Open Essays" included in the attached file. If possible, please select number 9 from them.

The instructions required in this essay are:

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Discuss your upcoming essay here. The assignment reads as follows:

"In 1000+ words, write a rebuttal argument. Choose an essay you disagree with, but NOT one you think is particularly poorly written. This essay does not have to be from the textbook, but should be from a credible source, should have a persuasive aim (that is, it should be trying to persuade its audience), and should be on a debatable topic. (If you’re not sure if the essay you’ve chosen is appropriate, please ask!) Be sure to cite the essay you choose correctly.

"In your essay, first summarize the argument you’re responding to, including the most relevant points, and then explain how and why you disagree. Note that you do not need to take the exact opposite position of the essay you are responding to, but you do need to disagree with it in some significant way. It is acceptable to find common ground with the essay, or to synthesize its arguments with your own (indeed, I encourage it), even while disagreeing with it, so long as you have a clear and well-defined disagreement with the argument. For example, you might write something like "Senator Jones is absolutely correct that the mice in the capitol building have gotten completely out of hand, but his solution of purchasing 100 cats to hunt the mice will create larger problems." Your goal should be to convince your readers to accept your argument rather than that of the essay to which you are responding.

"Use and cite credible outside sources. Include an additional works cited page in MLA format. Your audience for this essay is made up of readers who have a casual familiarity with your topic, and are inclined to disagree with you, but who have not yet made up their minds."

When working on this essay, remember to consult Good Reasons Chapter 12. The example essays and Steps to Writing a Rebuttal Argument are very handy. A few things to remember about a Rebuttal Argument: it means you respond to someone else’s argument and take a different position or disagree with them in some way. You do NOT have to take the opposite position (for example, to disagree with Heuvel about student loan debt, you would not necessarily need to argue that no student debt forgiveness is worthwhile, but you would probably at least need to argue that Huevel’s specific plan is flawed, that there is a better solution, or something like that). As long as you disagree with the author in some significant way you will be crafting a rebuttal. "Significant" is a key word here: readers should be able to clearly tell where you disagree and why it matters.

Often the best rebuttals are those which synthesize* elements of the opposing argument to make their own. They’re still disagreeing with the opposing argument, but they will show how the best points of the opposing position(s) can be incorporated into their own argument.

*to synthesize in writing is to bring together different sources and ideas to support your thesis.

You should include a strong thesis, which will often (though not always) take a form similar to "while [so-and-so] argues that [something], we should instead [do/believe/accept something else] because of [supporting claims]." That is, you set up the position the other writer holds that you disagree with, explain how and why you disagree, and then use the essay to defend your position. Please be sure to take a side, and side at least partially against the author you are responding to.

Your essay should probably begin with an introduction to the topic at hand, including naming the writer and title of the essay you’ll be responding to. It will then briefly summarize the key arguments of the other essay. The majority of the body of your essay should defend your position with strong reasoning, evidence, credibility and understanding of your readers values. You can do this primarily through counterargument (making your own argument on the topic) or refutation (responding to the opposing argument in depth). Most effective rebuttals will use at least some of both counterargument and refutation.

Consider who you wish your audience to be and what they believe; remember, they are probably inclined to disagree with you, and will need strong logos, good ethos and great appeals to pathos to convince them otherwise.

Bring in credible outside sources from books, journals, magazines, the internet, or anyplace else, so long as you feel the source is trustworthy and likely to be accepted by your readers. Include scholarly, peer reviewed sources. The best way to find these sources is to use the online databases in Mabee library. The librarians can assist you with this if you have questions about using the databases. Include an additional works cited page (meaning your document should have at least 5 pages).

You can pick any essay you like, whether from the textbook or somewhere else; either way, cite it properly and make certain it has a persuasive/argumentative aim, or else there will be nothing to rebut.

I strongly recommend picking an argument that you think is well made, rather than picking on a poor argument, as the latter will not give you much cause to demonstrate your skills.

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