COURSE: Advanced Nutrition Research
STYLE: REBUTTAL ASSIGNMENT
A writer uses a rebuttal argument to disagree with an opposing position. The term ?rebuttal? often carries with it a confrontational aura, but in most cases of rebuttal,
aggressive confrontation does very little to move an opponent closer to one?s own position. In most types of sophisticated disagreements, opponents concede points to each other and search for common ground. This behavior shows a willingness to engage, and it
also creates a positive tone for the disagreement. By trying to make a meaningful connection with your opponent, by discovering shared goals and assumptions, and by actively listening, you are far more likely to accomplish a productive and civil conversation.Please find a popular literature article on the topic of health/wellness/nutrition/medicine
with which you disagree. Write a rebuttal for that article. The article you choose should have been written in a magazine, newspaper, etc., and be no more than 2 years old.Your rebuttal should take the form of a response piece that would be published as a letter to
the editor or another article to be published as an opposing view.
When presenting your point (or points) of disagreement, please support your counterargument(s) with information from a minimum of 3 outside sources including at least 2
pieces of peer reviewed literature. Please use proper referencing format within the body of your article as well as in your references section.
Some common elements of a rebuttal essay
1. Identify the specific claim or claims against which you will argue.
2. Responsibly summarize the alternative position. Be fair and rigorous.
3. Establish common ground.
4. Find a point or points of disagreement.
5. Explain your good reasons for disagreeing with the original argument.
6. Explore other ideas, arguments, and possibilities that your opponent discounts or ignores.
7. Try to persuade your audience towards your position.
8. Use at least three outside sources to support your claims.
Not all rebuttals contain all of these elements, but most of these elements should be represented in a complex rebuttal.
A lot of students make the mistake of overreacting in the course of a rebuttal. Students may be tempted to fill the screen with a rant about all of the moral and logical failings of their ?opponents.? This isn?t a rebuttal anymore. It?s a metaphorical shouting match. After all,
who is the audience for such a screed? It?s not those who agree with the students; they don?t need to read it, as they already agree! It?s not those who disagree with the original author being countered; they are offended by the tone of the attack. Rebuttal writers need to give their readers the benefit of the doubt and assume that those who agreed with the original author did so for reasons that made sense to them. As a
consequence, the claims that are made should be analyzed, evaluated, and countered. The people should be respected. Ideally, this could lead to common ground being found. Please include a proper title page and include a copy of the original article when you hand in