Rebuttal Essay English 1023: Essay #2–Rebuttal Arguments PURPOSE: In her essay,
English 1023: Essay #2–Rebuttal Arguments
PURPOSE: In her essay, “Where College Fails Us,” Caroline Bird claims that college is a poor
investment. Your purpose is to write an essay in which you analyze several of her claims, determining what her main reasons are and drawing conclusions as to whether her reasons are valid or not.
LENGTH: 3 full pages – 4 full pages
SOURCES: You must cite from Bird’s article + 4 other outside sources. This means this essay requires proper MLA formatted intext citations AND a Works Cited page. STRATEGY: In order to write an effective paper, you must first clearly understand Bird’s arguments: you are not expressing your opinion so much as demonstrating to the reader what her argument is, where her reasoning is flawed and drawing your own conclusions (which may coincide with hers or differ from hers). However, since the purpose of any essay paper is to convince the audience—which includes those who may disagree with you as well as those who are undecided—you need to be considerate and to establish common ground (shared values, ideals, goals, etc.). I. Introduction (1 paragraph)–Briefly introduce the issue being debated in Caroline Bird’s article (i.e., the specific question the article is answering), noting why the issue is controversial and of interest. Ensure your readers have a clear understanding of the issue and/or any technical terms under debate. Also, be sure to include Bird’s full name the first time you reference her in your introduction (thereafter, you will use only the author’s last name); you also will need to note the full title of her article (thereafter, you will use a shortened version of the title) and briefly summarize her overall argument. Conclude your introduction paragraph with a well-defined thesis (arguable, clear, qualified) indicative of your specific purpose and listing the 3-4 points of rebuttal you’ll use to support your argument. II. Points of Rebuttal (3-4 paragraphs)–In each paragraph, you will (1) Explain the opponent’s argument (quoting is a good idea since you cannot assume your reader remembers each of Bird’s points), (2) State your rebuttal, and (3) Provide your refutation, specifics that challenge Bird’s evidence by presenting your own evidence. (Be sure your paragraphs align with your thesis statement). III. Conclusion (1 paragraph)–Reiterate your thesis before leaving reader with something to consider, do, etc. beyond the essay, itself. __________________________________________________________________________________________
To begin the writing process, you first should read through Caroline Bird’s article. List her reasons and then your gut response in a parallel column. From there, choose several of Bird’s points to reason through. Determine what evidence you need (statistics, anecdotes, authorities, etc.)
Also, you will need to include at least four (4) other current, secondary sources in your essay; these sources should be an article listed in our Canvas “Rebuttal” Module, from a scholarly article from a BRCC database (Lexis Uni or any EBSCO database), an e-book (from BRCC’s e-book collection via EBSCOhost), or a physical book, all published within the past fifteen years. You are welcome to cite information from Bird’s article you’re analyzing, but this will not count as your four secondary sources. You are not to use anything from the general Internet, unless you have received specific approval from me; if any unapproved source appears in your essay, one letter grade will be deducted per source. Remember that your purpose here is refute Bird’s arguments, demonstrating where and how they are flawed .