The Parts of a Rebuttal Essay
Soheila Battaglia reports:
"The function of a rebuttal is to disarm an opponent's argument. By addressing and challenging each aspect of a claim, a rebuttal provides a counter-argument, which is itself a type of argument. In the case of a rebuttal essay, the introduction should present a clear thesis statement and the body paragraphs should provide evidence and analysis to disprove the opposing claim...A rebuttal essay must show that the writer understands the original argument before attempting to counter it. You must read the original claim carefully, paying close attention to the explanation and examples used to support the point...Once you are familiar with the opposing argument, you must write a thesis statement -- an overall point for the whole essay. In the case of a rebuttal essay, this single sentence should directly oppose the thesis statement of the original claim which you are countering. The thesis statement should be specific in its wording and content and should be posing a clear argument...The body paragraphs of a rebuttal essay should address and counter the opposing argument point-by-point. Northern Illinois University states that a rebuttal can take several approaches when countering an argument, including addressing faulty assumptions, contradictions, unconvincing examples and errors in relating causes to effects. For every argument you present in a body paragraph, you should provide analysis, explanation and specific examples that support your overall point. Countering does not only imply disproving a point entirely, but it can also mean showing that the opposing claim is inferior to your own claim or that it is in some way flawed and therefore not credible...The conclusion of your rebuttal essay should synthesize rather than restate the main points of the essay. Use the final paragraph to emphasize the strengths of your argument while also directing the reader's attention to a larger or broader meaning. St. Cloud State University suggests posing questions, looking into the future and challenging the reader in the essay's conclusion. Like a lawyer's closing arguments in a court case, the concluding paragraph is the last thing the reader hears; therefore, you should make this section have a strong impact by being specific and straight to the point."
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