Introduction to Rebuttal and Refutation of Counterargument

What you’ll learn to do: evaluate strategies for rebuttal and refutation of counterargument

An integral part of composing a strong argument is including counterargument. This can be difficult, especially if a writer is arguing for a position s/he already agrees with. In such cases, writers can sometimes make good points to support their stances; however, their arguments are vulnerable unless they anticipate and address counterarguments. When a writer does this, it is often referred to as rebuttal or refutation. Some scholars of rhetoric differentiate the two words in terms of if you can actually disprove a claim or just argue against it; however, in this section, we will use the terms as basically interchangeable to help get you more used to their function in argument. When writers are able to skillfully rebut or refute a view that runs counter to their claims, it strengthens their work. Rebuttal and refutation are common in all types of argument, including academic argument. As you complete more advanced work in college, you will be expected to address counterargument often. And while you might not always need to or be able to prove that other points of view are wrong, you may at least need to try to argue against them.


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